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Name: People v. Vu
Case #: G035831
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/06/2006
Summary

In 2000 Vu’s best friend was stabbed and killed during an attack by Vu’s gang (TRG) on a rival gang. In 2002, Fernandez was killed when he and his friends were mistaken for TRG members, and a person in a black car started shooting at them. Vu was convicted of first degree murder and street terrorism. On appeal, he argued that the accomplice testimony was not sufficiently corroborated. The appellate court rejected that argument and affirmed. The evidence independent of the accomplices connected Vu to the crime by establishing motive and opportunity, and by discrediting his alibi. It established that he was a TRG member, and that his closest friend had been killed before this murder. A gang expert testified that this crime was committed at the direction and for the benefit of the TRG. Further, there was evidence that Vu made false statements to the police about his whereabouts on the night of the murder. The evidence to support the convictions was also sufficient, although circumstantial.