OSA

How old were you during your offense?

18, just out of high school

What was your sentence/charge? 

I was convicted of aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder to serve 15 years to life in prison

How long did you serve?

21 years 11 months

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What has been the most meaningful experience/life lesson you have learned up to this point that you would pass on to others who are about to experience reentry?

The life you knew no longer exists - you are a new creation coming out of prison and the world has changed too.

Find time for yourself to be alone and process the huge amount of change.

Know yourself, know the feelings and sensations in your body, and that will help you work through difficulties.

What has been your favorite experience in reentry?

Authentic Southeast Asian flavor and cuisine - my Mom made pho, papaya salad, and larb

When were you released?

Oct 8th, 2020

What was the county of your offense and what was the county of your release?

San Diego county for both my conviction and release

What were the circumstances around your release?

I was convicted under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, but Senate Bill 1437 changed this law in 2018 and was applied retroactively, so the murder conviction was vacated - instead I plead to manslaughter for an 11 year sentence. By that time I had already served almost double that sentence.

What have you been doing since reentry? 

I’ve been home with my family. COVID has been helpful in slowing things down, so things are a little less frenetic, and it’s a little easier to adjust. I’ve been going to the mall with my nieces and nephews, and I got a job working remotely as a trainer for the Prison of Peace program. Once COVID is over I may work with New Life K9s to train service dogs, or take a job offer as a tattoo artist. I am also enrolling in Project Rebound through UCSD to complete my bachelor’s degree.

What are you planning to do post-pandemic?

I’m excited to experience college life at SDSU. I want to study either business, sociology, or early childhood development.