Quantcast

Alabama man faces death again for killing 4 children in 2008 - abc27 WHTM

Alabama man faces death again for killing 4 children in 2008

Posted: Updated:
Lam Luong is again facing execution for throwing four children off a bridge to their deaths. Lam Luong is again facing execution for throwing four children off a bridge to their deaths.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man is again facing execution for throwing four children off a bridge to their deaths.

Last year, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Lam Luong's capital murder convictions for the children's 2008 deaths, saying pretrial publicity was prejudicial and that the trial court erred in denying defense attorneys funds to travel to Vietnam.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled 5-3 Friday that the lower court decision was wrong. Defense attorney Cassandra Stubbs said she will probably ask the court to reconsider.

"No meaningful steps were taken to make sure he got a fair trial," she said.

State Attorney General Luther Strange praised the court's ruling.

"We have maintained that Luong received a fair trial, and we are thankful that the court heard our arguments and has ordered that his conviction and sentence will stand," he said.

Luong, a Vietnamese immigrant, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 2009 for driving the four children to the Dauphin Island Bridge in Mobile County on Jan. 7, 2008, and throwing the four children into the Mississippi Sound about 100 feet below.

Three of the four children were Luong's, while the other was his wife's from a previous relationship who had been treated by Luong like his own child, according to testimony during his murder trial.

The bodies of the four — Ryan Phan, 3, Hannah Luong, 2, Lindsey Luong, 1, and Danny Luong, 4 months — were later recovered along the coast of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Hannah's body was found 144 miles from the bridge.

Their mother, Kieu Phan, testified that the couple's relationship had soured and that her unemployed husband had been using crack and seeing a girlfriend.

The Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction a year ago, ruling that pretrial publicity in Mobile was presumptively prejudicial and that the trial court erred in denying defense attorneys funds to travel to Vietnam. That could have led to a new trial in a new location if the decision had been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Writing for the majority of the Supreme Court, Justice Lyn Stuart said, "A review of the record simply does not support a finding that the content of the media coverage incited anger, revulsion and indignation to the degree that jurors chosen from citizens of Mobile County could not determine Luong's guilt or innocence based solely on the evidence presented at trial."

She also wrote that Luong's attorneys did not provide specific information concerning Luong's childhood that would indicate a state-paid trip to Vietnam would yield important evidence.

In dissent, Justice Tom Parker said, "The media coverage in this case was extensive and sensational."

In another dissent, Justice Glen Murdock remarked, "It is hard to imagine a case involving more extensive and more prejudicial publicity or a case that would more readily warrant a conclusion of presumed prejudice."

Joining Parker and Murdock in dissent was Justice Jim Main.

Stubbs, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, said, "We think the dissents got it right."

Attorney General Strange, whose staff handled the prosecution's appeal of the lower court's decision, said, "Lam Luong threw his four young children off a bridge to their deaths, and then laughed when he told their mother. This monstrous act rightfully resulted in his capital murder conviction and a sentence of death."

Joining Stuart in the majority were Chief Justice Roy Moore and Justices Mike Bolin, Greg Shaw and Tommy Bryan.

Justice Kelli Wise did not participate because she was a member of the Court of Criminal Appeals when it considered the case.

  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Gadsden reelects Mayor Guyton, approves Sunday alcohol sales

    Gadsden reelects Mayor Guyton, approves Sunday alcohol sales

    Gadsden reelects Mayor Guyton, approves Sunday alcohol sales

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:55 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:55:56 GMT
    Gadsden's Mayor Sherman Guyton wins reelection with 56% of the votes. The city also voted in favor of Sunday alcohol sales with over a 2-1 ratio; 68% to 32%.More >>
    Gadsden's Mayor Sherman Guyton wins reelection with 56% of the votes. The city also voted in favor of Sunday alcohol sales with over a 2-1 ratio; 68% to 32%.More >>
  • Anniston police and fire departments downsized by proposed budget cuts

    Anniston police and fire departments downsized by proposed budget cuts

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-08-27 00:01:02 GMT
    The Anniston city manager's proposed budget for 2015 cuts more than $1.5-million in spending compared to this year. The police and fire chiefs are concerned about the cuts to public safety.More >>
    The Anniston city manager's proposed budget for 2015 cuts more than $1.5-million in spending compared to this year. The police and fire chiefs are concerned about the cuts to public safety.
    More >>
  • Third anniversary of murder of Anniston police officer

    Third anniversary of murder of Anniston police officer

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-08-26 00:44:45 GMT
    The family of Justin Sollohub took him off of life support three years ago Monday. "He lived from the 24th to the 25th for the organ donation," Jeniffer Morris said about her son. "Organ donation needs to be important to everybody. We never know, when there's somebody in our [family], when it hits home, that somebody needs an organ. It is important to us but it needs to be important to everybody."More >>
    The family of Justin Sollohub took him off of life support three years ago Monday. "He lived from the 24th to the 25th for the organ donation," Jeniffer Morris said about her son. "Organ donation needs to be important to everybody. We never know, when there's somebody in our [family], when it hits home, that somebody needs an organ. It is important to us but it needs to be important to everybody."More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow