A state appeals court panel Thursday upheld a Fresno resident’s conviction for fatally shooting a Long Beach man along a freeway offramp about three years ago.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that jurors in Surind Phon’s murder trial should have been instructed on the lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter.
Phon was convicted in November 2019 of second-degree murder, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle in connection with the Feb. 23, 2018, killing of Glen Chico, 31.
Authorities believe Phon shot the victim because he was enraged that Chico was driving a car that belonged to a woman Phon was dating, according to Deputy District Attorney Peggy Kane.
Chico — who was also believed to have a relationship with the woman — had borrowed her car after the two spent time together earlier that day, the prosecutor said after the verdict.
“Appellant admitted that he intentionally fired his gun out of the window of his car in the direction of the car driven by Chico. He did not claim that he fired accidentally, nor was there any evidence to suggest as much. This conduct was inherently dangerous,” the appellate court panel noted in its 16-page ruling.
The justices found that there is “no evidence to support appellant’s claim of justifiable homicide.”
Chico — who was shot once in the chest — was found dead inside the vehicle along the westbound Anaheim Street offramp of the Long Beach (710) Freeway around 12:30 a.m. that day. The discovery prompted the closure of a portion of Anaheim Street for several hours.
The victim was shot once in the chest.
Phon, now 36, was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison in January 2020.