The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case against a man who killed his mother and buried her body in the backyard of their rented residence in El Monte, where it was discovered after he confessed to police a decade later.
John Taylor Huynh is serving a 26-year-to-life term in state prison for the 2001 stabbing and slashing death of his mother, Hong Tu Phuong.
In February, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support Huynh’s March 2014 conviction for first-degree murder.
“In this case, after defendant attacked his mother, he did not seek medical attention for her or remorsefully admit his crime,” the appellate court panel found in its Feb. 10 ruling. “Instead, he buried the body, cleaned the crime scene of evidence and attempted to start a new life, something he apparently achieved for nearly 10 years. This is evidence from which the jury could conclude that defendant’s state of mind was not rash and impulsive but, instead, was cold and calculating.”
The appeals court justices noted that Huynh — who was 17 at the time of the crime — told people that his mother had returned to Vietnam and that “he appeared to get away with murder until 2011, when guilt compelled him to walk into a police station and confess the crime.”
Huynh accompanied police investigators to the scene and showed them where he had buried his mother’s body.
—Staff and wire reports