Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney  CONTACT PERSON:
Lane Liroff, Deputy District Attorney
Homicide Unit
(408) 792-2626   For Release on June 23, 2003   DISTRICT ATTORNEY WILL NOT SEEK DEATH ON CONVICTED GANGMEMBERS   The Santa Clara County District Attorney will not seek the death penalty against Van Heang and Pov Touch who were convicted on May 30, 2003 of conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to obstruct the Los Angeles District Attorney’s prosecution of a gang-related murder trial, and the murder in San Jose of the father of a witness.   Heang fired the gun which killed Dong Dinh at the front door to his North San Jose home.  Dinh’s wife was present and officers found her cradling his head after he was mortally wounded.  Heang and Touch had previously traveled to San Jose in an attempt to kill the witness, and had plotted to kill other witnesses.   On June 17, 2003, the jury hung 10-2 on whether Heang should receive a death sentence.  Touch’s penalty phase had been scheduled to begin on June 23, 2003.   The District Attorney adapted the view of his trial deputy, Lane Liroff, who stated, “I respect the jury which worked diligently; there was insufficient reason to believe that a new jury would reach a different result.”  Touch and Heang will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  

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