The 38-year-old mom who shot her two school-aged sons while they slept last week is now facing first-degree murder charges following the boys’ death Friday, with cops revealing she planned the killings for more than a week.
Philadelphia police said Tuesday that Trinh Nguyen acted premeditatedly when she carried out the killings of sons JT, 13, and Nelson, 9, last Monday, revealing she penned a note a week prior describing what she wanted done with the kids’ ashes.
‘Please call 911!’ one unsettling message, obtained by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, penned by Nguyen reads. ‘My children are Dead in their bed.’
Officials Monday also revealed Nguyen had left another signed, handwritten note inside the family home dated April 25 – seven days before the murder – stating what to do with her sons remains.
The letter also instructed its recipient what to do with her own remains as well, confirming cops’ previous suspicions that the mom had planned to take her own life once the deed was done.
Nguyen then provided the address of the family home, in affluent Upper Makefield, where she would eventually commit the inexplicable crime – which cops say may have stemmed from a disagreement concerning back rent Nguyen owed to the family of her ex-husband, who owns the house.
Trinh Nguyen, who shot her two school-aged sons while they slept last week, is now facing first-degree murder charges after the boys’ death Friday, with cops revealing she planned the killings for more than a week
Philadelphia police said Tuesday that Nguyen acted premeditatedly when she carried out the killings of 13-year-old JT (at right) and nine-year-old Nelson (at left) last Monday, revealing she penned a note a week prior describing what she wanted done with the kids’ ashes
Cops recovered the damning correspondence after executing a search warrant on Nguyen’s minivan last week, district attorneys said Monday, during an arraignment held a week after the murders and two days after the boys’ deaths.
Detectives also located .38-caliber ammunition, multiple bags heroin, and swabs of what was suspected to be blood in the vehicle, a criminal complaint against Nguyen reveals. The note was found sitting on the vehicle’s passenger-side dashboard.
Nguyen’s sons had been on life support for roughly five days before being pronounced deaths Friday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The pair had been kept alive despite doctors’ grim prognosis as to the children’s fate following the shooting, so that their organs could be donated to those in need.
After their deaths, Nguyen – who cops said fled the family home in her white minivan at roughly 7 am May 2 immediately after the shooting but was tracked down at a nearby parking lot less than four hours later – saw her charges upgraded to murder.
‘I have been praying for these boys and their surviving family for days,’ District Attorney Matt Weintraub said Monday of the boys’ passing three days prior.
‘This defendant’s murder of two of her sons is unconscionable and horrific. We will do what needs to be done to seek justice for all of them.’
The note, cops said, spurred district attorneys to deal Nguyen the first-degree distinction, as it provided proof she planned the killings, officials said.
Nguyen shot her only two sons last Monday around 7 am as they slept the family home (pictured) in affluent Upper Makefield. Cops say may have stemmed from a disagreement concerning back rent Nguyen owed to the family of her ex-husband, who owns the house
Nguyen pictured with her two slain sons and her ex-husband Ed Tini. Cops said Monday that the double homicide suspect immediately after the slayings tried to give her ex’s nephew – who lives in an apartment attached to the family home – a box with photos meant for her ex
Nguyen – who cops said was under the influence of drugs when she was apprehended last Monday – will now face two counts of first degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and possession of a controlled substance, court documents show.
She also faces one count of attempted murder, for allegedly trying to shoot her ex-husband Ed Tini’s 22-year-old nephew, Gianni – who lives in an attached apartment of the family duplex – minutes after shooting the children.
Nguyen’s ex was the father of the deceased, officials said Monday.
During Monday’s hearing, Nguyen told a judge that she drove to nearby New Jersey immediately after the slayings to obtain narcotics which she ingested in an attempt to kill herself, a criminal complaint updated Monday reveals.
She asserted that she had not used drugs in the past, the document shows.
Nguyen was denied bail Monday given the severity of the charges against her, which could see her put to death under Pennsylvania law.
A preliminary hearing is slated for May 23.
Police had responded to reports of gunshots shortly after 7 am Monday and found Nguyen’s sons severely injured but still alive, cops said last week.
They were not expected to survive.
The boys had been hospitalized despite doctors saying they would likely not survive, so their organs could be donated to those in need
‘Upon entry both boys were found still alive but in their beds with gunshot wounds to their heads,’ District Attorney Weintraub said.
Upon tracking down Nguyen at the parking lot of Washington Crossing Methodist Church, authorities said the woman appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
The mother-of-two was charged with three counts of attempted criminal homicide – charges that were upgraded Monday.
Cops say the tragedy came amid a dispute with Nguyen’s ex-sister-in-law, Corinna Tini-Melchiondo, who was trying to evict Nguyen from the five-bedroom duplex, owned by her ex-husband’s family.
Upon tracking down Nguyen at the parking lot of Washington Crossing Methodist Church less than four hours after the murder, authorities said Nguyen appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Cops revealed they had found heroin in her car following her arrest. She said she used the drug to try to kill herself
Nguyen also faces one count of attempted murder, for allegedly trying to shoot her ex-husband 22-year-old nephew, Gianni – who lives in another unit in the duplex – after shooting her sons
The pending eviction notice was set to be enforced last Tuesday, the day after the shooting.
Tini-Melchiondo alleged she had failed to pay $11,000 in rent after divorcing from Tini-Melchiondo’s brother Ed last year.
On Monday morning, police said Nguyen shot her children in the head before approaching Gianni and giving him a box with photos meant for her ex husband.
According to authorities, Gianni turned around and when he faced Nguyen she was holding a gun.
‘…but by the grace of God, the gun did not fire,’ Weintraub said during a press conference on Monday.
Gianni then wrapped her in ‘a bear hug’ and disarmed her before alerting authorities, Weintraub said.
Nguyen allegedly fled the scene before police arrived but was arrested about four hours later in the parking lot of Washington Crossing Methodist Church.
Church staff alerted authorities after seeing a wanted bulletin issued earlier. Weintraub claimed Nguyen was under the influence of drugs at the time.
She was apprehended and booked into the Bucks County Correctional Facility. Nguyen was charged with three counts of attempted homicide.
The children, found by an officer and Gianni, were taken to St Mary Medical Center in Middletown but it is very unlikely they will survive, Weintraub said.
Police said there was evidence Nguyen had attempted suicide but did not elaborate on what exactly they had found aside from the bags of heroin, many of which cops said were empty.
This case is currently being investigated by Bucks County detectives and Upper Makefield Township Police, cops said Monday. Nguyen will remain incarcerated until her hearing later this month.
Nguyen fled the scene before police arrived but was arrested about four hours later in the parking lot of Washington Crossing Methodist Church
Church staff alerted authorities after seeing a wanted bulletin issued beforehand. Weintraub said Nguyen appeared to be under the influence of drugs at the time of her arrest