FRESNO, Calif. - A jury on Thursday found 38-year old Thong Vang guilty of attempting to murder two correctional officers in the Fresno County jail lobby in September 2016. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said justice has been served.
On the morning of September 3, 2016, Vang walked into the jail lobby, and after a scuffle with officers, he shot correctional officer Juanita Davila in the jaw. He also shot Toamalama Scanlan in the head. Both survived their injuries, however Scanlan suffered a severe blow and remains in a vegetative state. Fresno County Assistant District Attorney William Lacy said Scanlan cannot walk or talk on his own.
Vang was found guilty on all the charges against him, including attempted murder, assault with semi-automatic, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Vang has prior convictions of rape. The jury had deliberated for about ten hours before they returned with the guilty verdicts. Vang showed very little emotion in court on Thursday.
Mims said outside of court that the jury got it right.
"Mr. Vang lied on the stand. He admitted to being untruthful, and I just think that he deserves the punishment that he gets when he is sentenced," stated Mims.
Davila and the families of Scanlan were not present in court.
Mims continued, "Not only will Vang suffer the consequences, hopefully for the rest of his life, but so will these families, so will the Sheriff's Office."
Vang's defense attorney, Richard Esquivel, said his client was high on meth at the time of the shooting and didn't mean to injure the officers. Lacy said that's false.
Lacy commented on the jury's verdict, "The evidence was pretty clear and overwhelming, so I'm glad they ruled the way they did."
Esquivel said Vang thinks the verdict is the wrong result, and they plan on appealing after the sentencing.
Vang faces more than 100 years to life in prison. His sentencing is set for April 27.