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Woman pleads not guilty, as memorial held for nightclub beating victim

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:55 a.m. HST, Jan 29, 2014


SANTA ANA, Calif. >> Prosecutors on charged a second woman with murder in a fatal beating outside a Southern California nightclub, while hundreds gathered to mourn the 23-year-old woman she stands accused of killing.

Candace Brito pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court in the death of Annie Hung Kim Pham.

An argument between Pham and other clubgoers escalated into violence Jan. 18 outside The Crosby, a Santa Ana nightspot, where several bystanders recorded the incident on cellphones.

Pham, a recent college graduate and an aspiring writer, was declared brain dead but remained on life support until Jan. 21 so her organs could be donated.

At the memorial service later Tuesday, Pham's uncle spoke of that organ donation as an example of the generosity of the woman who was known within her church as Theresa Annie Kim Pham and known to friends as Kim.

He and others at the memorial and a cremation service also spoke of the need for forgiveness.

"We pray for the soul of Theresa," Pham's uncle said, according to the Orange County Register. "We pray for her friends. We pray for those who beat her."

Another woman, 25-year-old Vanesa Zavala, pleaded not guilty to murder last week and police were seeking a third woman as a person of interest.

After Tuesday's arraignment of Brito, who was being held on $1 million bail, her lawyer called Pham's death "stupid, mindless and senseless" but denied his client's involvement in any physical confrontation and said the blame was being misplaced on one side.

"Throughout the course of all of this," the attorney, Michael Molfetta, said, "Ms. Pham has been anointed a saint and people on the other side ... have been vilified internationally. That's irresponsible, and that's wrong. And the evidence is going to bear that out."







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cojef wrote:
A senseless crime. Clashes of egos.
on January 29,2014 | 07:34AM
Mei mei wrote:
One can only stipulate what caused these women to fight, etc. It's truly senseless and tragic, we live in a such a violent society ...
on January 29,2014 | 08:16AM
saveparadise wrote:
This was a beautiful young woman who worked hard in school and had a promising future. Rest in peace and condolences to the family. Take note people, no weapons involved. This is why you don't want someone assaulting you whether it be fists, feet, or someone on you slamming your head on the ground. Any assault is attempted murder pending the results whether intentional or not.
on January 29,2014 | 08:54AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
I don't know the whole story, but I pray for the victim, her support group and the perpetrators. agree totally with cojef.
on January 29,2014 | 09:10AM
Solara wrote:
I know it's dangerous but instead of jumping to help the poor woman, bystanders stood by and recorded the incident....WTH
on January 29,2014 | 11:15AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
It is so sad when people rather film than jump in. Maybe one or two can film, two can call 9-1-1. Brave souls should simply step between the victim and the perps to shield her and keep her safe, and plead with them to stop..Others will run for safety, or not want to get involved.
on January 29,2014 | 01:04PM
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