Crime & Courts

Man to serve 11 years for gang shooting

Thanh Do, 24, received a prison sentence of more than 11 years, stemming from gang violence that left one man dead 17 months ago.

Sedgwick County District Judge James Fleetwood on Tuesday issued the longest sentence allowed by law, based on a guilty plea last month.

Eric Pou, 25, died in a shooting outside the DaNang restaurant when a fight broke out during a private Christmas party in 2009.

His father, England Pou, spoke to the judge, interpreted by Eric Pou's wife, Tuyen Nguyen. The couple had a preschool-age daughter who was also at the hearing.

"He lost a son and left a daughter," Nguyen said for Pou. "It's living with him for eternity, losing a son, and his granddaughter is without a father. He wants fair justice for his son's life."

Pou attended the party Dec. 27, 2009, at the restaurant, 1556 N. Broadway, when a fight started inside the building. Police said at the time the fight moved outside, several shots were fired and Pou was hit multiple times.

Three months later, Do was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Do also pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault in a fight earlier the same month outside a nightclub in Old Town.

That incident left two bouncers stabbed and a third beaten about 12:35 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2009, outside Club Indigo at 126 N. Mosley, police said.

"The plea followed pretty lengthy negotiations, and we feel the final result we reached here is appropriate," prosecutor Aaron Breitenbach told the judge.

Fleetwood ran consecutive sentences of 127 months on the manslaughter charge and eight months for aggravated assault. Do will also have to register as a violent offender once he's released from prison.

At the time of the charges, police said the case represented a breakthrough in attempts to investigate gang violence.

Until Pou's death, police said distrust of officers by community members made investigating crimes difficult.

Police said two gangs had been involved in the fight that ended in Pou's death.