SANTA ANA, Calif. – A parolee was sentenced Friday to three life prison terms without parole for stabbing and slashing a couple and their 6-year-old son over an $80,000 debt.
Quang Van Quan, 39, of Houston, left the family's 11-month-old daughter unharmed and police found her two days later sitting next to her mother's dead body. She was severely dehydrated.
Prosecutors said Quan used a ruse to enter the Garden Grove home of Phuong "Sonny" Le on May 27, 2006.
He and at least one unknown accomplice hog-tied Le and his wife, Ngoc (pronounced NAHK) Lam, 25, in separate bedrooms and killed them along with their son. Prosecutors said the murders were so brutal that they amounted to torture, although Quan was not charged with that crime.
The adults had their ankles and wrists bound together behind their backs with electrical cords and speaker wire.
Le, 30, was stabbed 16 times in the head and neck, and his skull was fractured.
Lam had a baby's bib stuffed in her mouth, which was taped shut. Her throat was slashed.
Her 6-year-old son from a previous relationship, Tommy Lam, was found stabbed five times in the head in his bed in Spiderman pajamas. There was blood spatter on the wall and ceiling.
In the home, investigators found an IOU from Le to Quan for $80,000, prosecutors said.
At his trial, Quan's defense attorney Sheryl Beasley argued that her client had nothing to do with the killings.
Quan told investigators that he had arranged a loan from a high-ranking organized crime figure and went with the man to Le's house to discuss repayment.
Quan said he saw the man he called "Peter" pull a gun and tie up Le, but Quan claimed he was ordered from the home before the murders. Authorities said Quan identified a photo of "Peter" but it turned out to be a parolee with a location-tracking ankle bracelet who was home the night of the killings.