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Santa Ana fight: 2nd woman pleads not guilty

The second woman arrested in the beating death of 23-year-old Kim Pham outside a Santa Ana nightclub has pleaded not guilty.
January 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The second woman arrested in the beating death of 23-year-old Kim Pham outside a Santa Ana nightclub has pleaded not guilty.

Candace Marie Brito, a 27-year-old Santa Ana, resident, has been charged with one felony count of murder. She had about a dozen supporters in court with her.

Police say Pham was standing in line with friends outside a popular nightspot called The Crosby on Jan. 18 when a verbal fight turned physical. Investigators say Pham was kicked and punched until she lost consciousness. She was declared brain dead and was removed from life support on Jan. 21.

It's unclear who started the fight, but investigators believe three suspects were involved in the beating.

The first woman who was arrested, 25-year-old Vanesa Zavala, pleaded not guilty to murder last week. Police are still searching for a third woman, calling her a "person of interest."

Brito's attorney Michael Molfetta says there's misinformation about what happened the night of the fight. He says the victim has been portrayed as a saint, but in reality, this was a bar fight.

"My client steadfastly maintains that she had nothing to do with what happened that night. She was not involved in any physical altercation," Molfetta said.

A $10,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

If you have any information or took video of the incident, you're urged to contact the Santa Ana Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit at (714) 245-8390. You can also call OC Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.


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