Judge upholds murder charges against several involved in fatal Chinatown stabbing

Photo credit Kristen Johanson/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A city judge has upheld murder charges against some of the nearly dozen people accused of brutally attacking a South Jersey man and his girlfriend in Chinatown last fall.

During the preliminary hearing, prosecutors showed surveillance video from different angles of Race Street near 10th Street on Oct. 14, 2018.

Cellphone video also captured the incident with audible laughter in the background, as a group attacked 28-year-old Brett Berdini. At one point, more than a dozen people surrounded the victim and his girlfriend, with the pair’s backs against the wall. 

Authorities are still searching for the man who fatally stabbed Berdini.

Attorneys for two men, Vyreck Oum and Jose Leon, and two women, Monica Leon and Lena Huynh, argued their clients aren’t clearly visible in the beating.

Prosecutor and Homicide Unit Chief Anthony Voci passionately countered that claim, telling the judge: “I want to call this group a pack of animals, but that would be disrespectful to animals.”

The judge upheld third-degree murder charges against Oum, Monica Leon and Huynh, as well as aggravated assault, simple assault and conspiracy against the three and Jose Leon, adding the attack was an "extremely violent and vicious beating."

Another group of defendants will face a judge April 18 for their preliminary hearing.