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Man sentenced in shooting on 73 Freeway

August 10, 2012

One of four members of a Vietnamese criminal street gang was sentenced Friday for the 1995, execution-style murder of a fellow gang associate.

Anthony Johnson Jr., 36, of Westminster, was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

His three co-defendants, Giang Thuy Nguyen, Tam Hung Nguyen and Truc Ngoc Tran, are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21.

Each was found guilty in April of one felony count of murder and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder.

Johnson received a sentencing enhancement for murder by lying in wait, committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang, and murder to avoid arrest. The others faced similar sentencing enhancements.

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They were tried for shooting to death fellow gang member Viet Nguyen, who allegedly left the other gang members during a home invasion robbery in Huntington Beach.

Later in the evening, the members involved in the earlier robbery allegedly conspired to kill Viet Nguyen because he left the scene, and for fear that the resident may be able to identify Viet Nguyen, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

The murder took place on the shoulder of the Corona del Mar (73) Freeway in Costa Mesa.

The case went cold until 2006, when the Costa Mesa Police Department and the D.A.'s reinvestigated.

— Mike Reicher

Twitter: @mreicher

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