[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----MISSISSIPPI
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun Sep 19 01:27:17 CDT 2004
Coast man to argue death penalty appeal to Mississippi high court
The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear Tuesday from a Biloxi man
sentenced to death in the murders of 3 members of a Gulf Coast family.
Thong Le had argued at his Jackson County trial that he didn't participate
in the 2001 murders of Minh Hieu Thi Huynh, 46, and her daughters, Thuy
Hang Huynh Nguyen, 15, and Thanh Truc Nuynh Nguyen, 11.
Le's attorney argued to the jury in Le's 2002 trial that Le participated
in a robbery of the family but had nothing to do with the killings.
Le was convicted and sentenced to death in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors said Le went to the family's house in St. Martin on Nov. 1,
2001, to rob them of $1,300. But the daughters, home alone, refused to
give Le and his co-defendant, Ngan Tran, the money.
Prosecutors said that's when Le and Tran tied up, beat and strangled the
girls. They also attacked the mother when she came home later that night,
even after she gave them money.
Le did not testify at his trial. According to the court record, jurors
heard him confess to the crime in his taped interview with police.
Tran committed suicide in April 2002 while being held at the Jackson
Other testimony at Le's trial came from five Jackson County jail inmates
who said Tran had bragged about the killings after he was arrested and
Tran had said Le didn't participate in the murders.
On cross-examination, though, 4 of the inmates admitted that Le never
denied murdering the family, according to the court record.
(source: Associated Press)
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