Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Dane Williams

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A medical student who plied an already intoxicated Orange County man with drugs, then killed him during a sexual assault, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Philong Huynh, 41, was convicted in June for the Jan. 26, 2008, murder of 23-year-old Dane Williams of Huntington Beach, who was in San Diego for a trade show.

Huynh was also convicted of sodomy and oral copulation of an intoxicated person for a 2009 sexual assault on a 20-year-old Navy Corpsman who came forward more than a year after Williams' death.

In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney David Hendren said deputy medical examiners determined that Williams' probable cause of death was asphyxia. Because doctors couldn't determine how Valium got into the victim's system, they listed the manner of death as undetermined, Hendren said.

Hendren said Huynh was in his third year of medical school, had studied pharmacology, knew a lot about drugs and had prescriptions for Benzodiazapam and Clonazepam, He said the defendant acted like a “wolf in sheep's clothing” by giving Williams a depressant that rendered him unable to fight off a sexual assault.

Williams' body was found three days later in an alley two blocks from the City Heights home that Huynh shared with his mother.

Jeremiah R., the Navy Corpsman, said he felt disoriented for five days after being drugged and sexually assaulted by Huynh, the prosecutor said.

In August 2009, sperm found on Williams' body was matched to sperm found on the Navy Corpsman, and Huynh was arrested the following month.

Defense attorney Terry Zimmerman said the defendant didn't kill Williams. She said there was evidence that Huynh and Williams were together the night the victim died, and that the defendant woke up next to the dead man and disposed of the body, placing it where it could be found.

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