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Prosecutor: Videos show women kicking victim

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) -- Prosecutors presenting their case against two women charged with murder showed a short cellphone video on Tuesday of a chaotic fight outside a California nightclub that left a 23-year-old woman dead.

The brief, jumpy video shows victim Annie Hung Kim Pham wrestling with another woman on a sidewalk. As they struggle, a woman in a black jacket and boots approaches and appears to kick Pham in the head.

Prosecutors say the kicker is Vanesa Zavala. Immediately after the kick, Pham goes limp and the clip ends with her friends lifting her by her arms as they try to carry her away.

Zavala and Candace Brito have pleaded not guilty. A judge will determine after the two-day hearing whether there is enough evidence to order them to stand trial.

Police have reviewed three videos from bystanders. Other footage appears to show Brito kicking Pham as well before she is knocked to the ground by another woman.

Police are still seeking to interview a third woman, identified in court testimony as "Amelia," who they say is the person wrestling on the ground with Pham when she is kicked.

Just who started the fight outside The Crosby in the early morning hours of Jan. 18 was in dispute on Monday during the first day of testimony.

A witness told authorities the fight began after Pham started swearing at a group of people that she and her friends had bumped into outside the club, and that Pham threw the first punch. Pham's friends say three women in the other group attacked Pham without provocation.

Brito and Zavala were arrested after they were picked out of a photo lineup by eyewitnesses.

Defense attorneys have repeatedly introduced the idea that Pham's friends might have minimized their involvement and Pham's role in the fight.

They have also been picking at the police investigation, pointing out that detectives have not positively identified another woman who can also be seen on the video kicking at the woman who is fighting Pham.

"You don't even know who that person is, do you? You don't even know if she's in any way connected to Ms. Pham, do you?" Brito's attorney, Michael Molfetta, said to Santa Ana police Detective Leo Rodriguez.

"You haven't investigated it because you've decided those two are guilty of murder and everybody else is a victim. That's why you haven't followed up on this, isn't it?" Molfetta said to Rodriguez, who denied the statement.

Pham, who went by the first name Kim, graduated from Chapman University last year and would have celebrated her first wedding anniversary last month. She was an aspiring writer whose work was published online and in an anthology of works by Vietnamese-American writers.

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wbehl54 February 11 2014 at 10:03 PM

instead of standing by and videoing-why not intervene?

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1 reply
tspn95 wbehl54 February 12 2014 at 12:37 AM

@ wbehl54, A good question. What type of person (people) video tape an assault that ends in the death (murder) of a woman and do nothing to stop it?? That speaks volumes about the character of the people taping this assault/murder. Did any of them bother to call 911? Oh, maybe not, because that would've interfered with taping for their you tube channel or facebook wall. Everyone there should be ASHAMED of themselves!!!

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critterkitty13 February 12 2014 at 12:21 AM

My God what is happening to our young adults. I have seen so many shows where the people beat the crap out of each other and its not even over something important. The shows producers only intervene if they think someone will be hurt. What the show don't say to the audience is that if you hit or kick someone in the wrong spot you can instantly kill them. It can happen in a second and has happened over and over again in the real world. Its so disturbing to see someone getting beaten and see all those people around who are just standing there not doing anything to diffuse the situation. I've seen that a lot of people turn their backs and just walk away. It seems to be about some thing very petty but it escalates to a level of violence. The reason? Alcohol

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FRANK PENDLETON February 12 2014 at 9:56 AM


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bigg1957 February 12 2014 at 12:47 AM

guilty gangbanger

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jt7smile February 12 2014 at 12:49 AM

Put them to death!!!

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Ojitos February 12 2014 at 1:24 AM

Fire up the execution table. Slap one down, shoot her up. Wait for a death confirmation. Clean up the table and put the next one down. .... and keep right on going with the rest of the killers on death row country-wide....................................................

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DEBORAH February 12 2014 at 1:33 AM

Off with their heads!

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keedyk87 February 11 2014 at 5:31 PM

Consequence of a culture where Human Beings are see and defined as being no different than Animals? Where in College Psychology classes Human the Human ability to think or Self Awareness, that makes us different than Animals is never even discussed? Not to mention Human Emotion which is considered insignificant as its empirical definition is vague at best? An American Culture that once was moral and for the last 50 years has been allowed to devolve into behavior more like that of animal instinct driven libertines!

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1 reply
machooz keedyk87 February 11 2014 at 5:34 PM

Human culture was more moral in the 1960s when Jim Crow laws were more prevelant?

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Rusty February 12 2014 at 9:29 AM

They will either walk free because they will undoubtedly be shown to be "victims of society" or will do a few years for some lesser charge.

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jsim480536 February 12 2014 at 3:17 AM


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