By Jovanny Venegas Follow @JovannyVenegas
The tragic death of Kim Pham has affected many including myself.
Even though I didn’t know Kim, knowing that an educated, beautiful petite girl could have been beaten to death by 5 people is extremely disgusting. It’s even more disgusting to know that Kim stood at 5-foot-1, and only weighed 115 lbs, and then to know that two of her attackers could possibly be men is beyond words!
It’s a very sad case, and I hope it teaches our society that it’s not ok to just sit there and take photos and record someone who is getting brutally attacked!
I have also read many stories around the web speculating that this could of been a racially induced crime because Kim was Asian-American and her attackers are believed to be Latino.
First of all I highly doubt this was an attack based on race, and I can safely say that because as a former resident of Santa Ana, CA. I also lived in the Artist Village, and used to walk to the same bars/clubs where this tragedy took place.
The Artist Village itself is an area that is a hip, trendy, very artistic and for the most part changing for the better. But in reality the surrounding area is also plagued with big city problems such as prostitution, crystal meth use, gangs mixed in with overall good hard working people. But as they say the bad can over shadow the good.
The bar scene in this area is usually ethnically mixed Asian, Latino, white and so on. Usually all groups party with no problem, no hangup’s and no racial tensions what so ever. Santa Ana College itself has a huge Latino and Asian community and both groups work, and play with no problem.
So it really bother’s me that some media outlets who obviously do not know anything about this community try to stir “racial problems” to the mix. Especially when the Latino community is just as outraged of this senseless murder.
Now that I got that out the way. Here are new details on what is going on what this case.
Currently it’s been reported that $20,000 from various groups is being offered for any information which leads to arrests.
Earlier today the Orange County Coroner’s office released a statement revealing the autopsy on Pham’s death. It was reported that Kim died from “complications from blunt force trauma to the head.”
Yesterday 25-year-old Vanessa Tapia Zavala of Santa Ana was charged with one felony count of murder.
Zavala faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. At her arraignment at the Central Justice Center, in Santa Ana her attorney Ken Reed states that Zavala is innocent.
Reed claims that this was not a 5 on 1 attack on Kim. He says “There were an awful lot more people fighting than just six. It’s tragic that someone died, no question about that, but my client didn’t kill her and facts will bear that out.”
Reed also said that his client suffered a lump on her head and other injuries, “I think it ended up being a melee…..It’s not just a nice woman who got stomped on.”
Regarding the alleged attack Reed stated that people would not stand around without coming to the aid of one person being attacked, adding that there would be far clearer video of the incident if it hadn’t been a larger fight.
“You wouldn’t let five people stomp a person” and watch, he said. “There are other people involved.”
Reed says that the reason that Zavala is in custody is because she “was hit, she lost her phone and she’s in custody.”
Currently a spokeswoman from the Orange County District Attorney’s office would not comment or reveal any other information on this case.
Corporal Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana police department stated that many people recorded video and took photos of the attack, and many of them have contacted the Santa Ana P.D.
Bertagna added “The detectives continue to look for the four individuals that were with the one suspect we have in custody, Miss Zavala.”
Bertagna continued “They are going through video. They are interviewing people, and they’re looking to get those people identified in hopes that they will come in and talk to the detectives and give their version of what occurred.”
Zavala’s court appearance is a pre-trial scheduled for January 30th in Santa Ana.
Police is urging anyone who witnessed the incident or might have information including cellphone video are urged to call Santa Ana police detectives at (714)245-8390 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
R.I.P Kim our thoughts and condolences to Kim’s family and friends. We truly hope justice prevails soon!
We will update when new details are revealed! We hope our next update will be the apprehension of the 4 other suspects.
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