A judge sentenced a Montgomery County, Maryland, man Tuesday to life without parole in the 2020 murder of a 23-year-old woman.
Back in April, a jury had found 65-year-old Biet Van Tran of Silver Spring guilty of murdering Linh Pham and of trying to murder his own girlfriend’s son, Quy Luc, and another woman, Thi Nyguen.
Tran was sentenced to an additional 55 years in prison for trying to kill Luc and Nyguen.
The three victims had driven to Silver Spring from Florida in May 2020 because Luc’s mother had suffered a stroke and was in a rehabilitation center. He needed to check on the home, located in the 900 block of Balmoral Drive, and take care of her dog. Pham, who was Luc’s girlfriend, came along for the trip, as did her friend, Nyguen.
“[Luc] also took on the responsibility of the mortgage payments and most of the utilities,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memo. “Despite having no ownership interest in the house, the Defendant continued to reside in his room in the basement.”
The son had told Tran that he needed to contribute to home expenses or would have to leave.
“The defendant responded, ‘Come down here and I’ll kill you,’” prosecutors said.
When a similar conversation happened in person on May 11, 2020, prosecutors said, “The defendant was ready for a confrontation.”
In the basement of the home, Tran attacked Luc with a chef’s knife, they said. Luc sustained wounds to his hand and back. He fled to a neighbor’s home to call 911.
Pham, who had been in an upstairs bedroom, heard the commotion and went downstairs. There she encountered Tran, who stabbed her in the back when she tried to flee. She died at the scene.
Tran then turned on Nyguen and stabbed her twice before leaving her for dead.
Prosecutors say that while Nyguen survived the attack, she is dealing with psychological trauma and has “endured multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy to regain the ability to function normally.” Luc, they say, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Prosecutors noted that Tran served eight years of a 12-year sentence after being found guilty of trying to kill his then-wife in 1993.
“This defendant has shown himself to be beyond the reach of rehabilitation,” Montgomery County prosecutors said.