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Pomona man pleads not guilty in fatal Long Beach shooting

A Pomona man who got into an altercation at a Long Beach party that resulted in a fatal shooting pleaded not guilty this week to murder charges, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Thearath Sam, a 26-year-old Asian man, has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon -- the charges include special allegations that he fired a handgun that caused death.

Sam, suspected of being a gang member, was at a party when he allegedly got into a argument with Sambo Chhoy, a 33-year-old Cambodian man, according to prosecutors.

The two men were then told to leave the party and went into a back alley. Sam allegedly followed Chhoy for two blocks, then shot him, according to prosecutors.

Chhoy died at the scene. Sam was arrested on suspicion of murder Feb. 21. Sam was convicted in 2007 of one count of vandalism. His bail has been set at $2 million. If convicted, he faces up to 54 years to life in prison. Sam is due in court April 15.

Frank Shyong



Feb. 24, 2018: This article indicates that Sambo Chhoy died at the scene where he was shot. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.


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