Santa Ana fight case: Jury selection begins

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Jury selection got underway Monday in the trial of a woman beaten to death outside a Santa Ana nightclub.

Candace Brito, 27, and Vanesa Zavala, 26, are charged with murdering Annie Hung "Kim" Pham outside the now-shuttered Crosby Bar and Nightclub.

Prosecutors say Brito punched and kicked Pham twice and Zavala gave the final hit that left Pham unconscious. Pham was later taken off life support.

Prosecutors are expected to try to make the case that the defendants kicked the victim while she was down and vulnerable. Defense attorneys will focus on ambiguity about what exactly led to Pham's
death.

Brito and Zavala have pleaded not guilty. Their lawyers claim that Pham started the fight.

Brito and Zavala are charged with murder, with prosecutors expected to argue for it in the second-degree. They also face a charge of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury.

A motion by defense lawyers to dismiss the charges was denied in April. Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals acknowledged that police withheld some evidence that could have been helpful to defense attorneys at the preliminary hearing, but he ruled the issue did not warrant dismissal of the case.

City News Service contributed to this report.


Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.