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Kruger's sentencing delayed

Judge tells man who killed a liquor store owner in 2007 that a mix-up with an exhibit could affect his case and cut off future motions.

July 23, 2010|By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com
(Daily Pilot File…)

SANTA ANA — Sentencing for Weston Scott Kruger, who killed a Newport Beach liquor store owner in 2007, has been postponed until Aug. 27 due to an issue regarding the labeling of a surveillance tape used as evidence in the case.

An Orange County Superior Court judge on Friday delayed the sentencing because the exhibit and its identifying form did not match — an error made by the court. The exhibit is a compact disc containing surveillance footage from the day of the incident. Although it does not show the exterior, where the confrontation occurred, it does show Kruger taking the magazine and buying cigarettes.

"If we have the wrong disc, what does that mean?" asked Judge W. Michael Hayes.

Three years ago, Kruger went into Sportsman Liquor on the Balboa Peninsula to buy cigarettes. Store owner Hao "Tony" Huynh confronted him about stealing a pornographic magazine, at which point Kruger violently pushed Huynh to the ground. Huynh died a day later from his injuries.

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Kruger was on probation for an alleged armed robbery and allegedly beating his girlfriend at the time of the killing.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy said Kruger will face the robbery charge, where reportedly he impersonated an officer, but it will not add time to his sentence. Murphy said he is pursuing the charge "on principle." Murphy brought up a motion to dismiss the domestic violence felony. The drop will be addressed on the day of sentencing in August.

Kruger faces 25 to life; at the end of 25 years, he could see the possibility of parole. He has been in jail since 2007 and that time will be counted toward his sentence.

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