PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Matt Chisholm, Homicide Unit
Souksavanh Phetvongkham was convicted by a jury of the first-degree murder of Mario Benitez-Gallegos. The jury also found that Phetvongkham personally used a deadly weapon during the murder.
The victim and Souksavanh Phetvongkham had been friends until a recent falling-out. A mutual friend of the two gave a ride to Phetvongkham. During that ride, the two stopped and picked-up the victim. During the course of the car ride, the two men agreed to fight and got out of the car. During the fight, Phetvongkham stabbed the victim multiple times, including a stab wound to the heart. The victim was taken to a hospital by his friend, but he died from blood loss.
An allegation that Phetvongkham suffered a prior strike conviction for aggravated felony assault will be determined at the sentencing hearing.
Phetvongkham faces a maximum sentence of 56 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for March 8, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. in Department 31 before the Honorable Gerrit Wood.