Man faces death for earlier conviction

The head of a deadly crime syndicate sentenced to life in federal prison earlier this month for robberies across California will be transferred to the state corrections system to face the death penalty for an earlier conviction, federal officials said.

Anh The Duong, 35, was sentenced to life in prison Feb. 4 by a federal judge in a Northern California district court for killing four people and committing 15 robberies, including a pair in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

In September 2000, Duong and his men robbed Tourneau jewelry store in South Coast Plaza and disarmed the guard. One guard wasn't so lucky about four months later, when Duong and his men robbed Traditional Jewelers at Fashion Island.

In that robbery, Duong and his men exchanged about 30 bullets with mall security guards, wounding one of them.

They were arrested the next year by Costa Mesa police.

Though federal authorities were unable to secure a death sentence for the Orange County man, Duong faces execution for an earlier state conviction for killing four people at The International Club in El Monte in 1999.

California currently has a moratorium on executions.

—Joseph Serna

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