A Pennsylvania mother accused of shooting her two young sons in the head as they slept planned the killings for more than a week, authorities said.
Trinh Nguyen, 38, jailed since the May 2 shooting in Newtown that killed 9-year-old Nelson Tini and 13-year-old Jeffrey Tini, was charged with first-degree murder on Monday after her sons died on Friday, County of Bucks said District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.
Nguyen had planned to kill her sons – who were kept on life support until their organs could be donated – for at least a week before the shooting, leaving a handwritten will dated April 25 to a neighbor she told then attempted to kill, Weintraub said.
“I have been praying for these boys and their surviving family for days,” the prosecutor said in a statement. “I am so saddened to learn of their passing. This defendant’s murder of two of his sons is unconscionable and horrific.
A criminal complaint filed Monday shows cops responded to Nguyen’s home on May 2 after receiving a report from an armed suspect.
One of Nguyen’s neighbors, who is also her ex-husband’s nephew, Gianni Melchiondo, told cops the disturbed mother gave him a box of photos which she asked him to give to her ex-husband. .
Nguyen then pointed a gun at Melchiondo’s face when he turned around and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun did not fire, according to the complaint.
Melchiondo snatched the gun from Nguyen and found multiple bullets in the gun, authorities said. She drove off in a Toyota van and was arrested hours later at nearby Washington’s Crossing, Weintraub said.
Nguyen later claimed during her arraignment that she traveled to New Jersey to obtain narcotics, which she ingested during a failed suicide attempt, according to the complaint.
Detectives also found a loaded .38 caliber firearm inside Nguyen’s van, along with suspected heroin packets, blood swabs and a note on the dashboard, authorities said. .
“Please call 911!” the note read, according to the complaint. “My children died in their beds.”
Back at Nguyen’s home, investigators also found the handwritten will she had written a week earlier, providing instructions on what to do with her ashes, as well as those of her sons. The document was signed by Nguyen, according to the complaint.
Nguyen was months behind on his rent, more than $11,000 overdue, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
She was also kicked out of her home and told to leave on May 3 – a day before her sons were shot in the head, Weintraub said.
Nguyen had been married to Ed Tini until last spring when she filed for divorce, according to civil court records cited by the Inquirer. Tini is the father of Nguyen’s younger son, sources told the newspaper.
Nguyen, who was denied bail, is due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 23, according to online records. A message left with the Bucks County Public Defender’s Office, which represents her, was not immediately returned Tuesday.