MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Lam Luong was convicted and sentenced to die in 2009 for the murders of his four children but, last week, District Attorney Ashley Rich found out she may have to try the case all over again.
"We were very shocked when this decision came down," Rich said.
"I can tell you we were becoming very concerned, because it was taking the court of Criminal Appeals so long to make this decision. But nonetheless when we finally did read the opinion we were very shocked. This man confessed," Rich said.
The biggest objection the Appeals Court had involved the extensive media coverage prior to the trial.
In their ruling, the justices said the trial should have been moved out of Mobile.
"It's standard to ask the jury, ‘Can you put aside what you've heard or read in the media and base your decision on what you hear from the witness stand, and the law as the judge instructs you.' They either say they can or they say they can't, and we asked those questions repeatedly and those questions were asked in this case. So, we felt Judge Graddick did a good job in making sure that we had a fair and impartial jury," Rich said.
The Appeals Court ruling came down late Friday, the day before the oldest child's birthday.
Ryan Phan was 4 when he went missing on January 7, 2008. Hannah Luong 3 years old, Lindsey Luong 2 years, and Danny Luong, the youngest, wasn't quite 4 months, when they were all allegedly thrown from the bridge by their father on January 7, 2008.
Rich also disagrees with the Appeals Court's ruling on the videotape that was shown to jurors during the sentencing phase of the trial. The ruling said the judge was wrong to allow video which showed a detective throwing bags off the bridge.
"We will hire an expert, and we will do it again, because I think it was a very beneficial demonstration of what happened when he threw those children off the bridge," Rich said.
Rich said there's no way of knowing how long the appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court will take.
She said if the case is ultimately sent to trial again and moved outside of Mobile, it will likely be a city comparable to Mobile, like Montgomery, Birmingham or Huntsville.
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