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Orange County Bar Association

Fortune Teller Murder Orange County

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

A death penalty hearing is set for Tanya Jaime Nelson in Orange County Superior Court; she was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for stabbing Ha “Jade” Smith and her daughter Anita Vo. The motive for the murders was that Ha Smith a fortune teller, told Nelson she would do better by moving her business to North Carolina. In the end Nelson’s business relocation failed and she lost her house. Her co-defendant Phillipe Zamora who was also charged with two counts of first-degree murder, agreed to testify against Nelson in exchange for a 50 year to life prison sentence, avoiding the death penalty. Zamora testified he agreed to travel with Nelson to Orange County because she would in turn introduce him to gay sexual partners according to the Orange County Register. He described the April 21, 2005 incident in which he and Nelson were at the victim’s home, which doubled as her place of business. He explained how his co-defendant stabbed Vo which made Smith scream and Nelson yell “Don’t let her scream!” Zamora’s reaction was to hit Smith with a wine bottle and once on the floor stabbed her with two knives. Before leaving the residence Nelson took some jewelry, credit cards and money. In the end the stolen credit cards she used led to her arrest in addition to police finding she had a scheduled appointment on the day of the murders.

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