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Sacramento DA / Media / Press Release Archives / 2017 Press Release Archives / 8.30.17: Defendant Convicted for Murder at Chinese New Year Party

Defendant Convicted for Murder at Chinese New Year Party

DATE:  August 30, 2017

CASE:  Minhkha Phan (Case #15F00643)

PROSECUTOR:  Deputy District Attorney Valerie Brown, Homicide Unit

Minhkha Phan was convicted by a jury for the first-degree murder of Cheng Saeteurn.  The jury also found true the allegation that Phan personally used a firearm causing death.

In the early morning of February 20, 2015, a Chinese New Year celebration was taking place at Café Monaco when Minhkha Phan shot Cheng Saeteurn in the chest, back and head.  When police arrived, they found Mr. Saeteurn deceased.  Only two employees were present, along with the business owner.  All of the other witnesses had fled.  Sheriff’s homicide detectives tracked down a number of other witnesses, but only one provided details that identified Phan as the shooter.  When Phan was located and arrested two days later, he was found to be in possession of an unfired bullet.  The District Attorney’s Crime Lab examined that bullet and found that it had been cycled through the same firearm that was used in the murder.

Phan faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison.  Sentencing is set for September 29, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Department 38 before the Honorable Sharon Lueras.


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