Orlando Pouncey found guilty of murdering Jerry Nguyen
That was the verdict reached by jurors in the trial of Orlando Pouncey, the 30-year-old Tigard man accused of murdering Beaverton father Jerry Duy outside his sons home on Canterbury Lane last winter.
Jurors deliberated for about on hour on Wednesday before reaching their unanimous verdict. Pouncey was found guilty on one count of murder, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Nguyens parents held each other and sobbed after the verdict was read aloud in the court.
This is justice for my son, Nguyens father said.
During the weeklong trial, Pounceys attorney, John Gutbezahl, told jurors that his client was acting in self defense when he shot Nguyen three times. Nguyen had gone to ex-wife Lauren Nguyens condo that evening to pick up their son for the weekend.
Gutbezahl argued that Jerry Nguyen came at Pouncey in a rage and used racial slurs because Pouncey was dating Lauren Nguyen.
Prosecutors told a very different version of what happened that night, arguing that Pouncey was lying in wait that night in Lauren Nguyens garage in the 10700 block of Southwest Canterbury Lane, and shot Jerry Nguyen in cold blood when he arrived at the house to pick up his son for the weekend.
Prosecutors described the shooting as an execution, and said that Pouncey intended to steal Jerry Nguyens car and drive away.
Pouncey fled the state and was arrested outside of Tacoma 10 days later.
Prosecutors said that letters written by Pouncey while in prison indicated that he was paid by Lauren Nguyen to kill her ex-husband, with the promise of more money after the deed was done.
Gutbezahl said that letters allegedly written by Pouncey in prison could have been forged by other inmates, hoping to curry favor with prosecutors to lessen their own sentences.
While it took jurors an hour to reach their verdict, Gutbezahl said that Pouncey had only seconds to decide how he was going to defend himself.
Thats more than enough time to commit murder, Chief District Attorney Roger Hanlon argued.
Intent can be formed instantaneously, Hanlon said.
Hanlon said that jurors should throw out the testimony of Lauren Nguyen, who took the stand last week and said that Jerry Nguyen attacked Pouncey in her garage.
Prosecutor John Gerhard told jurors that Lauren Nguyen gave several conflicting versions of what happened that night to police. Some included Pouncey and Jerry Nguyen wrestling in her garage, and the gun firing accidentally. During her three-hour testimony last week, she said that she had visited Pouncey several times while he was on the run from police, even picking him up and taking him to a family members home outside Tacoma, where he was eventually arrested. Lauren Nguyen told investigators at the time that she didnt know where Pouncey was and used a false identity to visit with Pouncey while he was in prison.
But she was unable to give clear answers about the night of Jerry Nguyens murder and prosecutors accused her of making up answers on the spot during her testimony.
Lauren Nguyen is a liar, Hanlon told jurors during closing arguments on Wednesday.
Gutbezahl argued that even if jurors dont believe Lauren Nguyens version of what happened, there was no motive for Pouncey to kill Jerry Nguyen.
Prosecutors countered, saying they didnt have to convince jurors of a motive of why Pouncey shot Jerry Nguyen that day, only that he intentionally tried to commit murder.
Its nice to have in a whodunit kind of case to understand why a person on trial killed the victim, but we dont have that here, Gerhard said. What we know is that Orlando Pouncey killed Jerry Nguyen. Its not a question 'Did he intentionally kill Jerry Nguyen?' You know that he did.
Pounceys sentencing is set for June 3. The minimum sentence is 25 years, although he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
By Geoff Pursinger
The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood
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