A Bucks County, Pennsylvania mother pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing her two sons in May 2022, and will now spend the rest of her life behind bars.
FOX 29 in Philadelphia reported that 40-year-old Trinh T. Nguyen pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and additional charges.
Nguyen shot her 9-year-old son Nelson and 13-year-old son Jeffrey in the head while they were asleep in their home in Upper Makefield Township. Days later, the boys died after they were taken off life support at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on May 6, upgrading attempted homicide charges to first-degree murder charges.
She was sentenced by a judge to two life sentences without the possibility of parole, and a maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years for attempted murder, after she attempted to shoot a neighbor but her gun jammed.
First Assistant District Attorney Jen Schorn said after the hearing that the negotiated plea and sentence “will ensure that the defendant will die within the four walls of a correctional facility.”
On the day of the incident, Upper Makefield Police Department officers responded to Timber Ridge Road at about 7 a.m.
When the officers arrived, they were told by a neighbor that Nguyen attempted to shoot him twice in the face after she handed him a box of photos to give to her ex-husband, who he worked with, the station reported.
The neighbor told officers he wrapped Nguyen in a bear hug and disarmed her. She then fled in a white Toyota minivan and was found at about 11:30 a.m., parked at the United Methodist Church in Washington’s Crossing.
Nguyen was removed from the vehicle and taken into custody.
Officers and the mother of the neighbor entered Nguyen’s home where they discovered Nelson and Jeffrey shot in the head.
An investigation learned Nguyen fled to New Jersey where she obtained narcotics and ingested them in an attempt to kill herself.
When she was located, police said, Nguyen was “under the influence” of drugs. A weapon was found in the vehicle, as well as several packages containing what was believed to be heroin.
Police also said there was a note in the vehicle that read, “Please call 911! My children are dead in their bed at 119 Timber Ridge Road 18490.”
Detectives from Upper Makefield and Bucks County learned Nguyen planned to murder her two sons at least a week earlier, and she left a handwritten will instructing the recipient of what to do with hers and her sons’ remains.
In her writings, detectives said, Nguyen blamed others for the problems in her life, including the imminent eviction from her Timber Ridge home where she lived.
“It’s clear our evidence showed that this defendant had that wickedness of disposition that she had made these plans,” Schorn said. “She wrote a manifesto laying out what she was going to do, and you could see throughout the hate she had for others and the people she blamed.”