A Pennsylvania mother charged with shooting her two young sons in the head as they slept planned the killings for more than a week, authorities said.
Trinh Nguyen, 38, who has been jailed since the May 2 shootings in Newtown that killed 9-year-old Nelson Tini and 13-year-old Jeffrey Tini, was charged with first-degree murder Monday after her sons died Friday, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said.
Nguyen had planned on killing her sons — who were kept on life support until their organs could be donated — for at least a week before the shootings, leaving a handwritten will dated April 25 with a neighbor whom she then tried 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 sad to hear of their passing. This defendant’s murder of two of her sons is unconscionable and horrific.”
A criminal complaint filed Monday shows cops responded to Nguyen’s home on May 2 after getting a report of an armed suspect.
One of Nguyen’s neighbors who is also the nephew of her ex-husband, Gianni Melchiondo, told cops the deranged mom gave him a box of photos that she asked him to give to her former husband.
Nguyen then pointed a gun in Melchiondo’s face when he turned around and pulled the trigger twice, but the weapon didn’t fire, according to the complaint.
Melchiondo wrestled the gun away from Nguyen and found multiple rounds in the weapon, authorities said. She drove off in a Toyota minivan and was arrested hours later in nearby Washington’s Crossing, Weintraub said.
Nguyen later claimed during her arraignment that she went to New Jersey to obtain narcotics, which she ingested in a failed suicide attempt, according to the complaint.
Detectives also found a loaded .38-caliber gun inside Nguyen’s minivan, as well as suspected packages of heroin, swabs of blood and a note on the dashboard, authorities said.
“Please call 911!” the note read, according to the complaint. “My children are dead in their bed.”
Back at Nguyen’s home, investigators also found the handwritten will she penned 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 had been months behind on her rent, with more than $11,000 overdue, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
She was also being evicted from her home and was told to vacate by May 3 — one 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 has been denied bond, is due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 23, online records show. A message left at the Bucks County Public Defender’s Office, which is representing her, was not immediately returned Tuesday.