Silver Spring man found guilty in fatal 2020 knife attack

A jury in Montgomery County has found a Silver Spring, Maryland, man guilty of killing one woman and attempting to kill two other people during a dispute.

According to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, on May, 11 2020, Biet Van Tran, 65, began arguing with one of the victims, Quy Luc, 32, who was the son of Tran’s girlfriend. Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said that argument over money escalated when Tran grabbed a butcher’s knife from the kitchen of the home he shared with Luc’s mother on Balmoral Drive.

A Montgomery County man who fatally stabbed a woman and hurt two others at a home he shared with his partner has been found guilty. (Courtesy Montgomery County State’s Attorney)

“The attack was a savage attack,” McCarthy said.

Tran was accused of first attacking Luc with the knife, attempting to stab him in both the chest and the back. Luc escaped to a neighbor’s home and called 911. As he did, Tran then turned to Luc’s girlfriend Linh Pham, 23, of Vietnam, who came down the stairs after hearing the struggle between the two men. Pham died after being stabbed in the back.

Both Luc and Pham were visiting Luc’s mother’s home with their roommate Thi Ngoc Nguyen, 23, Prosecutors said that after being stabbed, Pham tried to push Nguyen into a bedroom to keep her safe. Tran was able to stab Nguyen several times, before she could lock the door.

When police arrived, Nguyen was found alive but badly hurt. Pham was found dead in a bedroom that prosecutors said she escaped to during the attack. Luc had minor injuries.

McCarthy said Luc once lived in the Silver Spring home with his mother and Tran, and the relationship between the two men was a tense one. He moved to Florida, and returned to Maryland with the two women hours before the attack to help his mother, who had a stroke.

“The attack seems to have been spurred only because [Quy Luc] brought two girls into this house where the defendant lived, and there had been prior animosity between the two men,” McCarthy said.

According to court documents, after the attack, Tran called 911 and admitted killing someone and requested that police take him to jail.

Tran was found guilty of first-degree murder for the stabbing death Pham, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the attacks on the other two victims.

McCarthy said this isn’t the first time Tran has been convicted of a crime involving a knife. In 1993, McCarthy said Tran spent time in jail for attacking his then wife with a knife.

“Effectively, this defendant has successfully killed one human being and tried to kill three others during the course of the last 20 years. He is 65 years old, and it is our belief he should never be free in the community again,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said his past case and the present case were among the reasons his office will seek a life sentence for Tran during his sentencing in September.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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