SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — The second defendant accused in the deadly beating of a 23-year-old Westminster woman outside a Santa Ana nightclub took the stand Monday as the trial draws to a close.
CBS2’s Michele Gile reports Candace Brito testified in her own defense in the beating death of Chapman University graduate Annie Hung “Kim” Pham.
Brito, along with co-defendant Vanesa Zavala, is accused of attacking Pham on the sidewalk of The Crosby Bar and Nightclub on Jan. 18.
Pham died two days later after suffering five injuries, including blunt-force trauma to the head.
Speaking in a crowded courtroom, Brito, 27, insisted she has been wrongly accused.
“I was really scared. I wanted to get out of there. We were trying to leave,” she said.
Cellphone video entered into evidence shows the brawl between males and females outside the venue.
Authorities say the fight began when Pham was accidentally bumped by someone in Brito and Zavala’s group.
Early in the trial, the prosecutor acknowledged the victim may have been the initial aggressor.
Brito says she was hurt as well, and was pushed to the ground as she tried to help another friend.
“You are telling us you were a victim of assault?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes,” Brito answered.
Brito also admitted she punched Pham, who was fighting with her friend, and at one point kicked Pham, aiming for her back.
Defense attorney Kenneth Reed then asked, “Did you kick anyone in the head?”
Brito responded, “No.”
The jury is expected to begin deliberating in the next few days.