February 11, 2014 Santa Ana, California (KTLA) — A preliminary hearing for two women who have been charged in the beating death of 23-year-old Kim Pham was expected to continue in Westminster on Tuesday.
Candace Brito, 27, and Vanesa Zavala, 25, have each pleaded not guilty to one count of murder. The preliminary hearing will determine if there is enough information for the two women to stand trial in Pham’s death.
New details emerged in the case during court testimony on Tuesday, including how Santa Ana police attempted to get information out of one of the two women.
A Santa Ana police detective — identified by the Los Angeles Times as Det. Patricia Navarro — testified that she went undercover and posed as an inmate to get information from Zavala, video from inside the courtroom on Monday showed.
“I was asked to act in an undercover capacity and contact Zavala to find out the truth about what happened,” she said on the stand
Navarro was ordered to return to court on Tuesday, the Times reported.
Testimony from other officers also revealed that there was conflicting information about who threw the first punch. One officer stated he was told it was Pham, while another officer said Pham’s friends told him the other women started the fight.
Pham died at a hospital on Jan. 21, three days after being severely beaten outside The Crosby nightclub in Santa Ana.
The cause of her death was complications from blunt force trauma to the head, according to a report from the Orange County coroner’s office.
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