Penalty upheld 

Gunner Lindberg during his 1997 trial for the slaying of Thien Minh Ly. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)
The California Supreme Court upholds the ruling in the case of Gunner Lindberg, the first person in the state condemned to die for a racially motivated murder. The victim was a Vietnamese American.
By Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 30, 2008
The California Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for a self-proclaimed white supremacist from Orange County who was the first person in the state condemned to die for a racially motivated murder.

Gunner Lindberg, 33, was convicted in the 1996 slaying of Thien Minh Ly, 24, who was stabbed more than 50 times and had his throat slashed.

Lindberg was convicted in Orange County Superior Court of first-degree murder with a special circumstance that the crime was based on the victim’s race. Lindberg’s attorney sought to have the special circumstance overturned on appeal because of lack of evidence.

But the state high court ruled Thursday that “the evidence overwhelmingly showed that the defendant was a racist who regarded nonwhites as subhuman and who, by his own admission, callously murdered victim Ly for the ‘racial movement.’ ”

Ly was in-line skating on a tennis court at Tustin High School when he was attacked by Lindberg and an accomplice.

In an obscenity-laced letter to a cousin full of misspellings and grammatical errors, Lindberg nonchalantly wrote, using an epithet: “Oh, I killed a . . . a while ago.”

“I stabbed him in the side about 7 or 8 times he rolled over a little so I stabbed his back about 18 or 19 times then he layed flat and I slit one side of his throught on his jugular vain,” Lindberg wrote. “Oh, the sounds the guy was making were like uhhh . . .”

Authorities also found racist materials, including anti-Semitic paraphernalia, in Lindberg’s Tustin apartment.

During his trial, prosecutors said, Lindberg wore the same Dallas Cowboys jersey to court that he wore the day he killed Ly.

Ly was a graduate of UCLA and Georgetown University whose goal was to become the United States ambassador to Vietnam.

During the trial, his family described him as their “backbone and pillar” and said they had visited the high school tennis court to try to imagine what Ly’s final moments must have been like.


SOURCE:  Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com 



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  1. Megan Owens

    How can you prove that he killed Ly based on his hate for his race? My brother (his cousin) was Asian so why would he kill a man of a race that happens to be in his family? He didn’t! No matter what yall say this was NOT a hate crime!!

  2. Ann

    “No matter what yall say this was NOT a hate crime!!”

    Which “yall” are you speaking of?

  3. Stacey

    You’re brother, his cousin, is Asian… but not you? Well maybe he hates his cousin too and there is plenty of evidence that it was racially motivated.

  4. Vivian

    First of all, the argument hate crime or not is a trivial matter. He killed ruthlessly describing the way he sliced the victim’s jugular veins and smashed his face in and stabbed him and so much more. Whether it’s a hate crime or not might mean life or death for him due to legal matters but to the victim and their family/loved ones, labeling it as a hate crime or not is the least of it. BUT in the end, it WAS a hate crime. He tells people he hated Asians, he targeted Asians and other minorities whenever he picks fights calling them wetbacks or japs. Not to mention he was a part of the white aryan resistance. There’s so much more.not to mention all his racist slurs and writings. Stop defending a ruthless killer. Whatever way you want to put it there’s no way you can cover up the way he attacks the weaker, the younger, the elderly, the minorities, and especially the way he murdered Thien Minh Ly. He walked around with a butcher knife looking for a victim for god’s sake. and guess what he has established himself as a racist and then chose Thien Minh Ly as his victim. then bragged and detailed how he killed “a fucking jap”. HATE CRIME written all over it.

  5. JB

    I read everything about this guy on the computers even the letter that they said that he wrote. Who cares that he said his race that doesn’t matter one bit i don’t believe that it was a hate crime. No matter who it was if you don’t know there name you will say there race if that’s all you know about the person. I don’t believe it was a hate crime.

  6. Year One Online

    I noticed that this is not the first time at all that you mention the topic. Why have you chosen it again?
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

    • Ann

      “I noticed that this is not the first time at all that you mention the topic. Why have you chosen it again?”

      What is it to you?

      You keeping scorecard on how I run my blog?

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