DA won't seek death penalty for man accused in fatal sex assault - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

DA won't seek death penalty for man accused in fatal sex assault

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of sexually assaulting and killing an intoxicated man in San Diego and drugging and sexually assaulting another young man will not face the death penalty, prosecutors announced Friday.

Philong Huynh, 39, of City Heights, is accused of killing 23-year-old Dane Williams of Huntington Beach, on Jan. 26, 2008. The charges include murder and a special circumstance of murder during sodomy or oral copulation.

He will face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The decision was made by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who considered the evidence and various factors in the case, Deputy District Attorney Gretchen Means said.

The case was assigned to Judge Robert O'Neill for trial, which is scheduled for Jan. 11, Means said. Lawyers for both sides will probably go to court in the near future to have the date changed, she said.

Williams, who had come to San Diego to work at a convention for a Costa Mesa-based skate and surfwear clothing company, disappeared after leaving the Hard Rock Cafe in the Gaslamp Quarter. He was intoxicated and seen falling to the ground when he left the club, prosecutors said.

His body was found three days later in an alley a block from where Huynh lived.

A cause of death was undetermined, but his underwear was missing and DNA was found on his clothes and body, Means said.

The defendant is also charged with sodomizing a second intoxicated young man who came forward last year. DNA evidence from that man allegedly tied Huynh to Williams' murder.

During a four-day preliminary hearing, Billy Sharrock, the former co-owner of a company that produced amateur gay porn, testified Wednesday that he hired Huynh in August 2006 to take care of the firm's computers.

He said Huynh told him that he liked to show young men a good time, then offer them something to "relax" and "have his way" with them.

He testified that Huynh said he liked straight guys because they were "more of a challenge."

"He told me he would offer a drug to them ... the majority of them took it," Sharrock said.

He said he saw Huynh with Valium at the office, and that the defendant told him he had a medical background and got his drugs in Mexico.

Sharrock said Huynh told him that "these boys were unconscious when he was having anal sex with them. That was his form of entertainment."

The witness said Huynh told him he liked intoxicated men and young men in the military.

Pharmaceuticals were later found in the defendant's home, including a prescription for benzodiazepine that was filled in January 2008, the month Williams was killed, according to prosecutors.

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