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Two Women Found Guilty In Brutal Beating Of Kim Pham Outside A Santa Ana Nightclub
The jury found Candace Brito, 27, and Vanesa Zavala, 26, each guilty of voluntary manslaughter and assault in the melee that occurred by the now shuttered The Crosby nightclub on January 18, according to the L.A. Times. However, their second-degree murder charges were dropped.
The two were accused of kicking 23-year-old Pham in the head while she was down on the sidewalk during a brawl that broke out that tragic night. Prosecutors said Zavala dealt the blow that made Pham go limp. Pham was put on life support and died three days later.
There were numerous witnesses accounts, and some grainy video footage of the beating that was captured on a cell phone. Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino said in court that Pham was waiting in line with her friends and taking a photo with them outside the nightclub when Emilia Calderon bumped into her while she was heading out with her boyfriend, Brito and Zavala, reported City News Service. He said Pham likely threw the first punch, but then Brito and Zavala pulled her by her hair and dragged her to the ground. Pino said multiple witnesses told him that Zavala kicked Pham in the head, and said in the video that “You can see it in her face" that she was gritting her teeth before she administered her final kick that knocked Pham out.
Brito and Zavala's attorneys argued that their clients didn't attack Pham, and that they were just trying to protect themselves in the chaotic brawl.
Dr. Etoi Davenport had performed Pham's autopsy and said that any of the six punches that Pham suffered from could have killed her, and she could not determine which one it was or if it was a combination of them, according to City News Service.
Pham was a newlywed who recently graduated from Chapman University with a degree in psychology, with aspirations to be a writer. Brito and Zavala have been described in court as two women who worked office jobs and going to the nightclub was a rare event for them.
Kim Pham died after a brutal beating outside of a Santa Ana nightclub (Photo via Justice for Kim Pham Facebook)