For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN SENTENCED 16 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR STABBING-MURDER OF PARTY-GOER FOLLOWING ARGUMENT
WESTMINSTER – A man was sentenced Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, to 16 years to life in state prison for the stabbing-murder of a party-goer following an argument. Khanh Van Le, 43, Westminster, was found guilty by a jury, Oct. 21, 2013, of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife.
Co-defendant Thao Thi Nguyen, 44, Anaheim, pleaded guilty, Nov. 22, 2013, to one felony count of accessory after the fact for lying to police about Le’s actions. Thao Nguyen was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of formal probation after the Court reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor over the objection of the People.
On Dec. 13, 2009, Le attended a party for new fishing crews at the Saigon Towing Yard in Garden Grove. Le’s girlfriend Thao Nguyen drove Le to the party. At the party, Le encountered Thao Nguyen’s ex-husband, John Doe, and his girlfriend, Jane Doe. Le got into a verbal dispute with John and Jane Doe over comments made about Thao Nguyen. The Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD), who investigated this case, arrived at the scene after receiving a call from a party attendee about the dispute, but Le left before they arrived.
A short time later, Le returned with Thao Nguyen and her two daughters to the party. Le began arguing with John Doe again. Anh Nguyen, 37, another perspective fisherman and guest at the party, intervened and told Le to leave. A physical altercation between Le and Anh Nguyen broke out. Le called GGPD and reported being attacked but refused to identify who attacked him.
At approximately 8:00 p.m., Le returned to the scene for the third time after being dropped off by Thao Nguyen. Le approached Anh Nguyen, who was in his van less than one block away from the party, and stabbed him four times, including one time in the chest, puncturing the victim’s heart. Thao Nguyen picked Le up and drove back to their residence. Le tossed the knife and attempted to wash the victim’s blood off his clothes.
GGPD arrested Le and Thao Nguyen at their residence the next morning.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.