A 24-year-old man charged with fatally stabbing another man outside a Grantville restaurant on Friars Road where a birthday party was taking place pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges.
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Jim Duc Nguyen was ordered held on $2 million bail.
Deputy District Attorney Chris Moon said a group of people were outside the restaurant about 12:25 a.m. Saturday, where some were drinking alcohol.
The restaurant manager asked a partygoer, Ador Laus, to ask the group to come back in, and Nguyen took offense, according to Moon.
An argument ensued, and Nguyen fatally stabbed 25-year-old Christopher "C.J." Manzon, the prosecutor said.
Laus chased Nguyen and caught him. In that fight, Laus also was stabbed, leading prosecutors to charge Nguyen with attempted murder and assault causing great bodily injury.
Manzon's fiancée, Lory Kongsengpatt, told 10News they are expecting a baby daughter and she will have the same initials as her father. They plan to name her Carly Jade.
"I'm going to tell her that her dad was a hero," said Kongsengpatt. "She was supposed to be a daddy's girl. He wanted to raise this baby with me."
Several of Manzon's friends and family members attended Nguyen's arraignment, saying they wanted to get a look at the man accused of stabbing him. Manzon's mother was among them.
"He had the most loving heart," Margie Manzon said of her son. "The most caring person anyone could ever meet."
Manzon said her son was hardworking and "a protector" who was always looking out for everyone else.
"He left here around 9 that night," said Manzon's uncle, Jim Broas. "He was gone the next morning, but in the end, we know he's watching over us, and we feel him watching over us, we feel him around."
Nguyen faces 54 years to life in prison if convicted.
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