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For Immediate Release: July 27, 2012

Asian Boyz Gang Members Sentenced to Life without the Possibility of Parole Plus 25 Years to Life for Blind Beach Murder

Santa Rosa, CA – (July 27, 2012) District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that Preston Khaoone (26 years old), Quentin Russell (29 years old), David Prak (23 years old) and Sarith Prak (26 years old), all of Santa Rosa, were sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 25 years to life for their roles in the kidnapping and murder of Vutha Au on March 2, 2008, at Blind Beach, near Jenner. This sentencing occurred after a four month long jury trial that concluded with guilty verdicts by two separate juries for all four defendants on June 28, 2012.

Vutha Au was the brother to Terry Au, who had testified against Asian Boyz gang members in October 2007. As a result, the Au family had been relocated out of Sonoma County for their safety. On March 1, 2008, Vutha Au had returned to Sonoma County to visit some friends. Planning to go “clubbing”, he got into a car with a friend and an Asian Boyz gang affiliate Tyrone Tay. During the evening, Asian Boyz gang members learned Vutha Au was in town. An Asian Boyz gang member, Boonlack Chanpheng, ultimately exchanged text messages with Tyrone Tay, and then communicated with Preston Khaoone and David Prak. Ultimately, Vutha Au was delivered to downtown Santa Rosa, where he was forcibly kidnapped by Preston Khaoone, Quentin Russell, David Prak and Sarith Prak, all Asian Boyz gang members.

Vutha Au was then driven out to Blind Beach on the Sonoma Coast, where he was executed. He was shot nine times, with four shots to the back of his head. Just moments after Vutha Au was shot, an alert park ranger, Jeremy Stinson, passed a dark sedan leaving the scene. Ranger Stinson then came upon Vutha Au’s lifeless body and he broadcast a general description of the car he had passed.

Within ten miles of the crime scene, Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Russell saw a navy blue Honda driving fast and erratically with the timing and path consistent of fleeing the murder scene. He conducted a traffic stop of the car and ultimately arrested the driver, Preston Khaoone, and passengers Quentin Russell, David Prak and Sarith Prak. The murder weapon, Vutha Au’s car keys, and a shirt with Quentin Russell’s DNA covering a pair of black leather gloves were all found strewn in various locations along Highway 1 and 116, between the murder scene and the traffic stop.

After a long four-year legal battle to move this case through trial, two juries were seated to hear joint and some separate evidence against Preston Khaoone and then his co-defendants Quentin Russell, David Prak and Sarith Prak. Their verdicts and this ultimate sentence brought much needed closure and some sense of justice for Vutha Au’s family, who all spoke at the sentencing hearing about this violent and senseless murder.

In April 2011, Tyrone Tay and Boonlack Chanpheng were convicted of kidnapping with gang allegations and are currently serving 18 and 15 year prison sentences.

The prosecution team was led by Deputy District Attorneys Traci Carrillo and Jason Riehl and lead investigator Gary Freitas of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Contact Information

Contact:
Terry Menshek
Media Coordinator
District Attorney’s Office
County of Sonoma
Address:
600 Administration Drive, Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone:
(707) 565-3098 Work
Fax:
(707) 565-2762 Work Fax

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