The brother of a trial witness murdered four years ago in a Jenner beach parking lot was shot nine times, mostly from behind, and was discovered face-down and shoeless in a pool of blood.
Of the bullet wounds covering the body of Vutha Au, 24, at least four, including one to his head, would have been fatal, a forensic pathologist testified Wednesday in the trial of four suspected gang members accused of the slaying.
Eight of the nine shots were fired back to front and one to his chest was discharged from less than two feet away, testified Dr. Kelley Arthur-Kenny, who did Au's autopsy.
She pointed to telltale abrasions on Au's chest, known as stipling, in a series of grisly photographs shown to jurors.
"He would have died within minutes," Arthur-Kenny said. "On the order of a few minutes."
As she spoke to the rare double-jury panel, defendants Preston Khaoone, 26, Quentin Russell, 28, and brothers Sarith Prak, 25, and David Prak, 23, looked on.
The four men are alleged to have killed Au in retribution for his brother's testimony in a torture and kidnapping case.
The accused shooter, Russell, tapped a ball point pen on the court railing as prosecutors flipped through other photographs depicting what they believe to be his handiwork.
Sheriff's Sgt. Darin Dougherty testified 17 9mm casings were found in the Blind Beach parking lot. Many of the shots hit the ground, leaving small impressions. He showed photos of Au lying on the asphalt with a black pinstriped dress shirt pulled up around his neck.
His shoes and socks were nearby.
The testimony came in the fourth week of trial for the alleged Asian Boyz gang members charged in the 2008 slaying. It followed a day of testimony from FBI agent Melissa Vanek, who said two former co-defendants had exchanged text-messages discussing Au's abduction.
Vanek testified that Tyrone Tay of Suisun City and Boonlak Chanpheng of Santa Rosa, both 29, discussed grabbing Au for Khaoone, whose brothers were implicated in the related torture case.
Both men accepted plea bargains to lesser kidnapping charges and are serving long prison sentences.
The four on trial are charged with murder. They were arrested within minutes of the March 2, 2008, slaying after witnesses gave police a description of their car.
Judge Ken Gnoss took the unusual step of seating two juries. One will weigh evidence against Khaoone and the other will render a verdict for Russell and the Prak brothers. All face life in prison without parole.