UPPER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) – A suburban Philadelphia mother is facing first-degree murder charges after allegedly shooting and killing her two young sons in their beds.
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office says Trinh T. Nguyen has been in custody since May 2 when she allegedly shot and killed her 9 and 13-year-old sons in their beds and attempted to shoot a neighbor.
Her sons, 9-year-old Nelson Tini and 13-year-old Jeffrey Tini, had been on life support since the shooting and were pronounced deceased Friday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I have been praying for these boys and their surviving family for days,” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. “I am so sad to hear of their passing. 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.”
Nguyen was arraigned on Monday morning before Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Petrucci on two counts of murder of the first degree and one count each of attempted homicide, possession of an instrument of crime and possession of a controlled substance.
She has been incarcerated at the Bucks County Correctional Facility since last week when she was charged with attempted homicide and denied bail.
In an updated criminal complaint filed on May 9, Bucks County and Upper Makefield Township detectives say Nguyen planned the killing at least a week earlier, leaving a handwritten last will and testament dated April 25, 2022, that instructed the recipient of what to do with her and her sons remains.
The investigation began with Upper Makefield Township Police being dispatched at 7:05 a.m. the morning of May 2, 2022, to the Timber Ridge Road residence for a report of an armed subject. Gianni Melchiondo, the 22-year-old nephew of Nguyen’s ex-husband and her neighbor, told police that Nguyen handed him a box of photos and asked him to give the box to her ex-husband.
When Melchiondo turned around to face Nguyen, he reported seeing her pointing a black revolver to his face. Nguyen allegedly pulled the trigger two times, but the gun did not fire, he told police. He then engaged Nguyen, wrapped her in a bear hug and eventually disarmed her.
After disarming her, Melchiondo cleared the firearm, observing that there were multiple rounds inside.
Nguyen fled the area in a white Toyota Sienna minivan and was later found inside her minivan parked at the United Methodist Church in Washington’s Crossing. She was removed from the minivan and taken to an area hospital after officials believed she was under the influence.
Melchiondo’s mother and a responding Upper Makefield Township Police officer checked the Nguyen residence and found both boys with gunshot wounds to their heads. Both boys were transported by police and EMS personnel to Saint Mary Medical Center and then to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where they later died.
During her arraignment later that day before Magisterial District Judge Michael Petrucci, Nguyen said she did not flee and claimed to have traveled to New Jersey to obtain narcotics, which she ingested in an attempt to kill herself, according to a criminal complaint. She added that she had not used drugs in the past, the complaint says.
A search warrant was executed on the minivan, and detectives located .38-caliber ammunition, several empty suspected heroin packages, several full suspected heroin packages, and swabs of suspected blood, among other evidence.
The District Attorney’s Office said a note was located on the passenger-side dashboard that read: “Please call 911! My children are Dead in their bed at 119 Timber Ridge Rd 18940”
In addition, a .38-caliber Ruger revolver was located from the front of the Melchiondo residence.
During this investigation, detectives learned that Nguyen was being evicted from her residence and was given notice to vacate by Tuesday, May 3, 2022, the day before the shooting.
This case is being investigated by Bucks County Detectives and Upper Makefield Township Police. First Assistant District Attorney Jennifer M. Schorn and Deputy District Attorney John T. Fegley are assigned for prosecution.