Danny Pham was a skinny, 27-year-old cosmetology student who grew up in Westminster, California.
Described as “just a sweet kid,” Danny had a good family, direction, goals. Then he messed up. He took a car that wasn’t his and went “joyriding” one night. He was caught, pled guilty, and surrendered to serve six months in the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana.
Danny Pham is dead.
On July 3rd, just a few days before his release date, Danny was found dead on the floor of his cell. It’s been nearly a month since Danny died and authorities have yet to release his cause of death. Pham’s family wants answers and has retained noted Orange County defense attorney Michael L. Guisti to get them.
Mr. Guisti, who was featured earlier this year on NBC’s Dateline (“Diabolical”), believes that the cause of Danny’s death is homicide. Pham was placed in a cell with a mentally unstable man incarcerated for stabbing two homeless men to death while they slept. Guisti believes the cellmate killed Danny, and his death was due to the negligence of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. “I got an anonymous call yesterday; that Danny was killed by an inmate; that he was left for dead on the floor; and that the whole thing is on tape. So we need this videotape,” the attorney said. It’s also been reported the five jail employees have been put on paid leave while the Sheriff’s Department investigates the incident.
The Orange County jail system is no stranger to criticism. Shortly before Pham’s death, the ACLU issued a scathing report, stating that deputies at the jails used excessive force on inmates, staged fights between inmates, ignored inmate complaints, housed inmates in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and denied inmates adequate healthcare. Sadly, these charges are nothing new. In 2006, a 41-year-old Orange County jail inmate was attacked by a mob of others and beaten and sodomized for 50 minutes while deputies napped, watched television, and texted. He died.
Deputies have a duty to ensure that all inmates are safe, no matter how deplorable their crimes. If you or a family member has been injured while in the custody of law enforcement, you may have grounds for a lawsuit like the one Mr. Guisti has filed against the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. To find out more, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690.