A Vietnamese-American man was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life for killing a man who wasn’t doing anything to him at all, after a Tet party in 2009, the OCDA announced in a press release.
Thanh Van Tran, 29, was found guilty in June of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.
Back in January 2009, Tran attended a Tet party with Loi Van Nguyen, 32, at the now-defunct D’ Saigon restaurant in Garden Grove.
Leaving the party, Nguyen got into an argument with another party-goer. That man’s brother-in-law, Tommy Ngoc Ta, intervened and tried to push Nguyen away.
That’s when Tran got a gun for his car, came up to Ta and shot him 3 times, hitting the 40-year-old man in his arms and in the chest.
So, it’s like this: Tran killed someone in cold blood, when the man wasn’t arguing with him, and in fact wasn’t even arguing with anyone at all.
Ta, a married father of three, died a few hours later at UCI Medical Center.
Nguyen turned himself in, and Tran was arrested.
Nguyen pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact and was sentenced to one year of probation. He testified in Tran’s trial.
The D’ Saigon restaurant was on Euclid, near Chapman.