(Photo: Oakland Police Department)
A 33-year-old California man is now facing a prison sentence of 126 years to life after he was found guilty of murdering his atheist friend who mocked him about his faith in God, and asked where He was when his father died. The murder occurred while the friends were drinking, snorting cocaine and playing video games.
A San Jose Mercury News report said Douglas Yim, 33, was found guilty of the first-degree murder of his atheist friend, Dzuy Duhn Phan, during the night of partying in his living room on April 2, 2011. Phan was identified as an atheist by an Examiner report.
Paul Park, another friend who was present during the fateful murder, testified that the two friends first snorted cocaine then began having a discussion about God while they played video games.
At some point during the discussion, Phan began taunting Yim about his belief in God and asked him where God was each time he lost a round in the video game. The taunting escalated to a point when Phan asked Yim where God was when his father died from a stroke.
The comment sent Yim in a tailspin and he threw his video game controller at his flat-screen television and broke it then left the living room where they were playing and sat down in his dining room with a blank stare.
Both Park and Phan reportedly then tried calming Yim down and offered to pay for the television he broke. Their efforts to calm Yim down failed so Phan suggested to the 33-year-old that he should take his gun and shoot him if he wasn't going to be calm. Phan was aware Yim owned a gun.
Park testified that Yim just kept sitting for a little while longer then walked to his bedroom, loaded his AR-15 assault rifle and began firing in the living room.
Phan was reportedly shot at least six times with one shot being fired from approximately a foot away from the side of his head. Park was shot in the finger trying to stop Yim from blasting away at his offending friend.
Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Allyson Donovan asked the jury to focus on the gunshot that hit Phan in the side of his head as proof that the killing was intentional and with premeditation and malice.
When the verdict was returned Donovan said he hoped it would bring "some sense of closure" for the victim's family.
"The jury got the verdict correct," said Donovan. "This gives justice to Mr. Phan and his family."
Mario Andrews, Yim's attorney, said he believed his client should have been found guilty of manslaughter because he refused to leave Yim's house after the fight over God's existence. He also argued that since his client was under the influence of drugs and alcohol he could not have premeditated the murder, and he tried to reach a plea deal but couldn't reach an agreement with the district attorney's office.