Sixth man arrested in witness murder


Boonlak Chanpheng will be arraigned Friday for his alleged role in the murder of Vutha Au, whose body was found in a parking lot at Blind Beach on the Sonoma Coast on March 2. He had been shot nine times.

Au was expected to testify at an alleged gang-related kidnapping for ransom, robbery and extortion trial. His brother, Terry Au, was the alleged victim of the kidnapping, according to the district attorney's office.

Both Au brothers had been relocated through the California Witness Relocation program and agreed to remain out of the area, but Vutha Au had returned to Sonoma County when he was killed.

Chanpheng, an alleged member of the "Asian Boyz" gang, was arrested by detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Chanpheng will join five other defendants being charged with murder with special circumstances of killing a witness to prevent his testimony, kidnapping, and participating in a criminal street gang, according to the district attorney's office.

A preliminary hearing for the other five defendants, Quentin Russell, Preston Khaoone, David Prak, Sarith Prak, and Tyrone Tay, is currently scheduled for Jan. 20, 2009, according to the district attorney's office. All six men are being held in custody on no bail.

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