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 In January, we wrote about a case where a young woman, Kim Pham, was allegedly killed outside of a Santa Ana nightclub, and that two women were being charged in connection with the fatal beating. New information has arisen regarding the incident, and the trial continues. This is an update as to the case. 

The accused in this case, Vanesa Tapia Zavala and Candace Marie Brito, assert that it was Pham who threw the first punch. Prosecutors argue that escalated the situation into a homicide by punching and then kicking Pham into unconsciousness, ultimately causing her death. 

Today’s preliminary hearing brought out further information about a third woman beating Pham and new cell phone evidence. Conflicting testimony has arisen as to whether who initiated the fight. One witness asserts that Pham began swearing and was restrained by friends. This account differs dramatically, from the account of Pham’s friends, who say she was assaulted without provocation. 

This case has garnered enormous attention throughout its development, in part because initial reports said that dozens of bystanders watched the scene unfold and did nothing to help Kim Pham and, in part, because in an unexpected turn a detective revealed Monday that she had gone undercover, posing as an inmate to try to coax Zavala into talking, even though she had asserted her right to silence and requested an attorney. The judge stopped the detective from testifying and excused her. 

The case is developing as new information is being released and new witnesses are stepping forward. 

Charges of violent crimes such a murder, assault, and battery should be taken seriously, and traversed with the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys. If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal conduct, contact the experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Brower & Associates.
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