Case # 09WF1952
Date: November 3, 2014
MOTHER FOUND SANE FOR PREMEDITATING AND DELIBERATELY CARRYING OUT ATTEMPTED MURDER OF HER TWO YOUNG CHILDREN BY STABBING THEM WHILE THEY WERE ASLEEP
*Previous jury found her guilty of attempted murders
SANTA ANA – A mother was found by a jury Friday to have been sane and had premeditated and deliberately carried out the attempted murder of her two young children by stabbing them while they were asleep. Thuy Thi Le, 43, Westminster, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 4, 2014, of two felony counts each of attempted murder, and child abuse and endangerment with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and committing great bodily injury. This case was a retrial of the sentencing enhancement for premeditation and deliberation related to her attempted murder conviction as a former jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, finding 11 to one for the sentencing enhancement to be true. A unanimous jury found the sentencing enhancement to be true on Oct. 27, 2014, which makes the punishment an indeterminate “to life” sentence. Le faces a maximum sentence of two life sentences plus five years in state prison at her sentencing Jan. 16, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-39, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
As Le entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the trial was held in two phases. During the second phase, the jury considered evidence to determine if the defendant was legally sane at the time of the crime. To be considered legally insane, the defense has the burden of proof by the preponderance of evidence that the defendant was legally insane: that the defendant had a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime, and also that this defect kept the defendant from understanding the nature of his act or from understanding that his act was morally or legally wrong.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2009, Le spent the night at a family member’s home with her children, 5-year-old Child Doe #1 and 3-year-old Child Doe #2. Her boyfriend, who is the father of the children, was at work. Le slept with her two children together on a mattress in the family room. The defendant went into the kitchen, picked up a knife from the sink, walked back over to the children, stabbed each of them in the chest, and then stabbed herself nearly 25 times. She then called 911.
Child Doe #1 suffered a stab wound to the chest and the knife penetrated her heart. Child Doe #1 was sent to University of California Irvine Medical Center and underwent emergency open-heart surgery to save her life. Child Doe #2 suffered a stab wound to the chest area, but the stab wound missed any vital organs.
Senior Deputy District Attorney John Christl of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.