O.C. gang member sentenced to death in killing of 13-year-old boy

August 14, 2009 | 3:22 pm
LA Times

ason Alejandro Aguirre

ason Alejandro Aguirre

An Orange County gang member was sentenced to death today for murdering a 13-year-old boy, whom he mistook as a rival, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Jason Alejandro Aguirre, 34, of Garden Grove was found guilty by a jury May 21 in the shooting death of Minh Tran six years ago. Aguirre also was convicted of shooting Tran’s 14-year-old brother, Anh Tran, and his cousin, Ahn Ta, also 14.

Both victims survived. Prosecutors said Tran went to buy tacos with his brother, two cousins and an uncle in August 2003 at Alerto’s Mexican Food in Westminster, an eatery then known as a hangout for members of Aguirre’s criminal street gang.

Donny Long Nguyen, today a 24-year-old co-defendant in the case, spotted the three boys and mistakenly thought he recognized one of them as a rival gang member. Prosecutors said the boys were not associated with any gang.

When the three boys left the restaurant, some gang members followed in a car. They called cohorts to join them and cornered the boys in a cul-de-sac. Aguirre fired several shots into the boys’ car, prosecutors said. Minh Tran was shot once in the heart and liver and several times in the arm and body. He later died at a hospital.

Anh Tran was shot in the stomach and underwent several surgeries, and Ahn Ta was grazed by a bullet and suffered a wound, according to the district attorney’s office. The defendants fled the scene, and Aguirre was found seven months later in Tempe, Ariz.

The felony convictions were one count of special circumstances murder for a criminal street gang purpose, two counts of attempted murder and one count of street terrorism, the district attorney’s office said. In addition to Nguyen, there are five other co-defendants, all of whom are accused of being members of a Vietnamese street gang.

Some have already been sentenced and others are awaiting sentencing. Nguyen, of Westminster, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with an enhancement for street gang activity.

He has been sentenced to 18 years and four months in state prison. Quang Hal Do, 24, of Westminster pleaded guilty to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter, two felony counts of attempted murder and a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. Do was sentenced last month to 25 years and eight months in state prison. Defendants Harrison Khoa Pham and Aaron Villegas, both 16 at the time, and Danny Viet Duong, then 17, were prosecuted as adults. Pham, 22, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of attempted murder, one felony count of street terrorism and one felony count of voluntary manslaughter.

He was sentenced last month to six years and eight months in state prison. Villegas, 22, and Duong, 23, have pleaded guilty to one felony count of murder and one count of street terrorism. They are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 11 in Santa Ana. Dung Q Le, 26, of Portland, Ore., pleaded guilty to two felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count of voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. He was sentenced to 23 years and four months in state prison.

–Ann M. Simmons

StreetGangs.Com Staff Posted by on Aug 14 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “O.C. gang member sentenced to death in killing of 13-year-old boy”

  1. Lnjiknh@yahoo.com

    I hope this poor excuse for a human never sees freedom again. Garbage like this should be wiped out with the same weapon they used to commit the murder. Turds.

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