|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
July 16, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
MAN CHARGED WITH STABBING-MURDER OF
EX-WIFE IN WESTMINSTER APARTMENT
WHILE FOUR CHILDREN WATCHED
SANTA ANA – A man was charged today with murdering his ex-wife in his Westminster apartment by stabbing her more than two dozen times while four children watched from a nearby room. Hao Cao Le, 39, is charged with special circumstances murder while lying in wait with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Le is expected to be arraigned this morning, Wednesday, July 16, 2008, in Department C-55 or C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Le and his ex-wife, Nhu Hang Tran, had immigrated together to the United States from Vietnam and been divorced for eight years. Le and Tran had one child together and Tran had a second child from another relationship. On the night of July 14, 2008, the night before the victim’s 32nd birthday, Tran went to pick up her two children from Le’s Westminster apartment, where he lived with his sister and his sister’s two children. Le is accused of going out to Tran’s car when she pulled up outside and arguing with the victim while hiding a knife. He is accused of luring her into the apartment by telling her that if she wants to take the children, she has to go inside and get them herself. As Tran passed Le into the apartment, Le is accused of grabbing her and stabbing her 28 times in the back and front as the four children, ages eight to 15, watched from a nearby room. The defendant is accused of murdering the victim and leaving a knife lodged in her chest. He is accused of then calling 9-1-1 and waiting in the apartment for police to arrive.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.