Jimmy Siackasorn, 2007
SACRAMENTO, CA - A defendant who was 16 when he shot and killed Sacramento County sheriff's deputy Vu Nguyen two years ago was found guilty of first degree murder with a special circumstance Wednesday.
The Sacramento jury took just over two hours to convict Jimmy Siackasorn, 19, who tried as an adult.
Nguyen was fatally shot Dec. 19, 2007, while chasing Siackasorn through "The Avenues," a gang-infested area of south Sacramento. The 37-year-old Nguyen was shot in the neck as he chased Siackasorn on foot through backyards.
Siackasorn's attorney public defender Sue Karlton told jurors during the trial that her client shot the detective because he thought he was a rival gang member.
But Deputy District Attorney Rod Norgaard argued that Siackasorn had "ambushed" the detective.
During the murder trial, Nguyen's partner Ed Yee testified Siackasorn was acting suspiciously when they approached him.
Yee said Wednesday evening he was pleased with the verdict and warned there was no telling how much more harm young gang members like Siackasorn could do.
Records show Siackasorn was arrested 27 times by his 17 birthday. Prosecutors said the teen had a long-standing hatred for law enforcement.
The jury decided Siackasorn knowingly killed Nguyen while he was a peace officer on duty and intentionally used a gun.
"We are relieved Jimmy will no longer be on the streets," Nguyen's brother Anh told News10 Wednesday night. "But it's really not a celebration for us. We can't bring my brother back."
Siackasorn will most likely receive life in prison without the possibility of parole when he's sentenced.
Written by Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org