Police are still searching for the suspects who beat a 23-year-old woman to death outside a Santa Ana, California nightclub over the weekend, but new details reveal that she was attacked because she accidentally ruined a picture.
Vanesa Tapia Zavala, 25, was charged Wednesday with the murder of Annie (Kim) Pham and faces 15 years in prison if convicted. She was identified through video taken by bystanders, who also told police that the “photobomb,” caused the fight.
A friend who wanted to remain anonymous told the LA Times that Pham accidentally walked into one of the photos being taken by a group of three women and two men.
An argument started between that group and Pham and her friends. Pham was beaten and left unconscious at the sidewalk.
Zavala was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $1 million bail and is due back in court January 30th for a pretrial hearing. Her attorney, Kenneth Reed, told reporters after his client’s arraignment that Pham was knocked down during the assault, and he doubted reports that it was a beat-down.
“I refuse to believe that people of this community would watch a woman stomped to death by five people and nobody would do anything,” Reed said. The lawyer characterized it as “a melee, a bunch of people fighting.”
Reed also said his client was devastated by the incident.
“Your day is fine, your life is fine, you have a 5-year-old son, you go out one night on a Friday with your boyfriend and then your life is turned upside down and you find out someone is killed,” Reed said.
“No matter what the situation is, you’re going to be devastated.”
Pham, who was a graduate of Chapman University and worked to raise money for breast cancer awareness, was taken off life support on Tuesday. She died midday, according to family members. They found out that she was an organ donor only after she was admitted to the hospital.
“She would go out of her way to help others and never expect anything back from them,” her stepsister Lisa said. “That’s the kind of person she is.”
Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of four other suspects wanted in connection with the incident.
“The suspects were listed as two males and three females, Hispanic, between 20 and 25 years of age,” Santa Ana Police Corporal Anthony Bertagna told KABC.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kim’s family at this time.
SOURCE: Daily Mail | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram