A Pennsylvania mother charged with shooting her two young sons in the head because they had been planning the murder for more than a week, officials said.
Trinh Nguyen, 38, who has been incarcerated since the May 2 shootings in Newtown that killed 9-year-old Nelson Tiny and 13-year-old Jeffrey Tiny, but died in first-degree on Monday after her sons died Friday. He was charged with murder, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said.
Nguyen had planned to kill his sons – who were put on life support until their organs were donated – at least a week before the shooting, leaving a handwritten letter that would accompany a neighbor whom he tried to kill. It did, Weintraub said.
“I have been praying for these boys and their surviving families for several days now,” the prosecutor said in a statement. “I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. The murder of his two sons by this respondent is unconscious and appalling.”
A criminal complaint filed on Monday shows that police retaliated at Nguyen’s home on May 2 after receiving a report from an armed suspect.
One of Nguyen’s neighbors, who is also the nephew of her ex-husband, Gianni Melchiondo, told police that the deranged mother had given him a box of photographs that she had asked to give to her ex-husband.
According to the complaint, Nguyen then pointed a gun at Melchiondo’s face and pulled the trigger twice, but the weapon did not fire.
Officials said Melchiondo fought the gun away from Nguyen and found several rounds in the weapon. She drove into a Toyota minivan and was arrested hours later in a Washington crossing, Weintraub said.
According to the complaint, Nguyen later claimed during her indictment that she had gone to New Jersey to collect narcotics, which she had taken in a failed suicide attempt.
Officials said detectives also found a loaded .38-caliber gun inside Nguyen’s minivan, as well as suspicious packages of heroin, blood samples and a note on the dashboard.
“Please call 911!” Read the note as per the complaint. “My kids are dead in their beds.”
At Nguyen’s home, investigators also found handwritten what she had written a week earlier, containing instructions on what to do with her ashes as well as her sons. According to the complaint, the document was signed by Nguyen.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Nguyen was months behind on her rent, with over $11,000 overdue.
Weintraub said she was also being evicted from her home and told to evacuate by May 3 – a day before her sons were shot in the head.
According to civil court records cited by the Enquirer, Nguyen was married to Ed Tiny until last spring, when she filed for divorce. Sources told the newspaper that Tiny is the father of Nguyen’s younger son.
Nguyen, who has been denied bond, is due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 23, online records show. A message left at the office of the Bucks County public defender who is representing him was not immediately returned Tuesday.