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.
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.
“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 samejersey 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.