SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Friends and family gathered Friday evening for an emotional vigil to honor and remember a 23-year-old Westminster woman who died after being beaten outside an Orange County nightclub.
The 8 p.m. candlelight vigil for Kim Pham was held in front The Crosby, the popular hangout in Santa Ana where the Jan. 18, altercation unfolded.
The young woman died days later of complications from blunt force trauma to the head, according to an autopsy.
Thus far, police have arrested two women in connection with Pham’s death.
One of the suspects, identified as 25-year-old Vanesa Zavala of Santa Ana, pleaded not guilty to murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
A second suspect, who remained unidentified, was taken into custody Friday afternoon. Her defense attorney said his client was knocked to the ground by the crowd and alleges that that was the extent of her involvement. He further alleges that Pham threw the first punch.
“I don’t have information that she’s the one who threw the first punch. However, we are still receiving information and we are following all leads so there is a possibility that the circumstances or the information that we receive could change but at this moment in time, I don’t have that information,” Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas told CBS2’s Michele Gile.
Meanwhile, police identified a third individual, described as a person of interest, in connection with Pham’s death.
Rojas alleges that Zavala was with a group that was exiting the club and Pham was with her group outside.
“As they crossed paths, there was both a physical altercation and a verbal confrontation that occurred,” the chief said. “That led to a more serious physical altercation.”
It’s still unclear what words were exchanged to precipitate the fight.
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