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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    3 accused in slayings at a Modesto market


    Three teenagers charged with the shooting deaths of a Modesto couple and their adult daughter returned Thursday to Stanislaus County Superior Court.

    Defendants Oloth Dicky Phommahaxay, 18, Sophon Theoun Ting, 16, and Chris Douangkham, 15, all of Modesto, have been charged with three counts of murder in the deaths ofVanh and Phouvieng Thammavongsa and their daughter, Nanci Thammavongsa.

    After Thursday’s pretrial hearing started, the courtroom was emptied for about 40 minutes while the attorneys and the judge discussed issues involving Ting’s and Douangkham’s juvenile records, which are not discussed in open court.

    Ting and Douangkham are minors, but the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office will prosecute them as adults. The three teenage defendants have pleaded not guilty.

    Once the matter was discussed, the courtroom was opened again. Judge Marie Silveira continued the defendants’ arraignment hearing to June 7.

    Prosecutors have not decided whether they will seek the death penalty in this capital murder case, but they also have not ruled it out.

    Bail has been set at $10 million each for Douangkham and Ting. Phommahaxay is being held without bail at the Stanislaus County Jail.

    Police said the defendants are known gang members, so gang enhancements have been added to their charges. A criminal complaint filed in late January says the defendants are members of the CWA Crips street gang.

    A gang enhancement is added to charges when authorities believe a crime was committed for the benefit of a street gang. The enhancement can result in longer prison sentences.

    For 15 years, Vanh Thammavongsa, 55, and his wife, Phouvieng Thammavongsa, 49, had owned and operated V&V Oriental Market at 1320 Yosemite Blvd., east of Santa Cruz Avenue.

    Nanci Thammavongsa, 28, suffered a developmental disability at birth. She required constant care and was usually with her parents at the market.

    Vanh Thammavongsa was pronounced dead at the scene of the Jan. 25 shooting. His wife and daughter were taken by ambulance to a Modesto hospital. His wife died at the hospital later that day.

    Nanci Thammavongsa died after two days on life-support equipment at the hospital.

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