Thanks to the passage of Proposition 47, which reduced some felonies to misdemeanors, and allowed some prison inmates to be released early into the general public, one former inmate had the chance to commit attempted murder in a shoot-out with police.
Jimmy Hoang Truong, 28, of Santa Ana, had been imprisoned with two felony convictions for drug-related crimes when he was released due to Proposition 47. On Thursday, the Orange County Grand Jury indicted him on felony charges for shooting at police officers during a November vehicle chase.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the charges from the November vehicle chase include “three felony counts of attempted murder on a peace officer, four felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm on peace officers, one felony count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one felony count of evading peace officers while driving recklessly and sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm.”
Late at night Nov. 7, Santa Ana police officers attempted to pull over Truong when he ran a stop sign, Instead, Truong fled, prompting a two-hour police chase during which he fired at the police. Brought to a halt by spike strips, Truong remained in his car for three hours before he was arrested.
Truong’s two felony drug convictions occurred in 2012 and 2013; on Sept. 25, 2013, he received a 16-month jail sentence. But his felonies were termed misdemeanors on Dec. 2, 2014, due to Proposition 47.
It didn’t take long for Truong to run afoul of the law again; on April 3, 2015, he was arrested for carrying a switchblade. On April 6, he was arrested for possessing a controlled substance. Both actions only triggered misdemeanor charges. My News LA reported that John Franks, president of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, said of the switchblade incident,:“An individual who the court determined should be held only accountable for misdemeanor crimes held the city of Santa Ana and nearby neighborhoods hostage for more than five hours.” Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, added, “Luckily, no one was hurt in this incident, but with Prop. 47 flooding our communities with dangerous felons released with little or no consequences for the crimes they commit, we might not be so lucky next time.”
Truong could receive a sentence of life in state prison for the November attack; he is currently being held without bail.