From the Foundrey Blog of the Heritage Foundation:
Chawa See shot a 15-year-old boy in the head with a .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun, killing him almost instantly.
Chawa See was a member of the Oriental Troop gang, an Asian street gang active in the north central area of Visalia, California. Robert Trevino, a 15-year-old former member of the Norteno gang, lived on NE Fourth Street in Visalia, part of the area the Oriental Troop gang considered its “turf.”
On October 1, 2006, Trevino was outside his house playing football with younger boys—neighbors, not gang members. See and four of his fellow gang members decided to confront Trevino. After covering their faces with bandanas, they walked over to NE Fourth Street and approached Trevino. Several bystanders advised Trevino to go inside to avoid the confrontation, but he told them that he was doing nothing wrong and had nothing to fear.
See and his “posse” came nearer, and one of them shook hands with Trevino. While Trevino was distracted with the handshake, See pulled out a .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun and, from a distance of less than three feet, fired the weapon at Trevino’s head, killing him almost instantly.
See fled the scene and went into hiding. He admitted the murder to a female friend, and the handgun was found in his bedroom.
|Office of the Tulare County District Attorney|
|County Civic Center|
|221 S. Mooney Blvd., Rm. 224|
|Visalia, California 93291|
|Date: May 20, 2008|
|Oriental Troop Gang Members Sentenced to Life|
On October 1, 2006 just before sunset, five Oriental Troop gang members walked up two blocks on NE 4th Street in Visalia to contact and kill rival gang member Robert Trevino, who lived in Oriental Troop turf and was outside playing football. These five Oriental Troop gang members included the defendants Chawa See, Lavang See, and Aitang See, who all had their faces covered with bandannas or doo-rags. As the five Ortiental Troop gang members were approaching Robert Trevino, people were warning him to go inside. Robert Trevino refused, saying that he was doing nothing wrong. When the five Oriental Troop gang members made contact with Robert Trevino, one of them distracted Robert Trevino by shaking his hand and pointing behind him while the others stood close by with their faces still covered. At that time and from a distance of less than three feet, Chawa See shot Robert Trevino in the side of the head with a .380 semi-automatic handgun. Robert Trevino died almost immediately.The five Oriental Troops fled the crime scene together. The defendants Chawa See, Lavang See, and Aitang See were arrested within several weeks and charged as adults. In December 2007, the defendants planned and made an escape from custody after being transported to the Visalia courthouse for a hearing. They were recaptured the same day.
The jury trial of defendants Chawa See, Lavang See, and Aitang See started on April 8, 2008 and lasted two weeks. The defendants were found guilty as charged, which included first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, along with the gun and gang special allegations.
On May 20, 2008, Judge James Hollman sentenced Chawa See and Lavang See to life without the possibility of parole plus an additional and consecutive 25 years to life. Judge Hollman sentenced Aitang See to 50 years to life. Aitang See only received a lesser sentence because he was 15 years old at the time of the crime, which made Aitang See ineligible for a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
The investigating officers in this case were Sergeant Corey Sumpter of the VPD and Investigator Brian Davis of the DA’s Office; the gang expert was Officer Luma Fahoum of VPD; and the prosecutor was Deputy District Attorney Todd Zocchi.
Contact person: Assistant District Attorney, Don Gallian 733-6411.