Husband pleads guilty to his wife’s nail gun murder

A 65-year-old Texas man, Lam Ngoc Tran, has been handed a 40-year prison sentence after being found guilty of murdering his wife with a nail gun. Tran admitted to the brutal killing of his 49-year-old wife, My Thai Dang, in their Cypress, Texas home on January 10, 2022, according to a statement released by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

The District Attorney described the murder as a horrific act, emphasizing the heightened risk faced by victims of domestic abuse when attempting to leave their abusive partners. The victim, Dang, was in the process of escaping an abusive marriage when she was killed, a tragic outcome that Ogg attributed to Tran’s inability to relinquish control over his wife.

Harris County deputies, responding to a 911 call, found Dang in a pool of blood at the couple’s residence. The cause of death was determined to be an attack with a heavy pneumatic nail gun. Dang was declared dead at the scene.

Tran was also discovered at the scene, with injuries believed to be self-inflicted. Authorities suspect that after murdering his wife, Tran attempted suicide by shooting himself multiple times with the same nail gun. He was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where he survived his injuries.

Investigations revealed that Tran had sent farewell messages to his close ones prior to the incident. Earlier this year, he entered a guilty plea for the murder charge, allowing a judge to determine his sentence following a pre-sentencing investigation.

Dang, originally from Vietnam, had moved to Minnesota before relocating to Houston to marry Tran. Both were employees at a plant producing HVAC equipment, as per Assistant District Attorney Matthew Magill, a member of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Division. Magill revealed that the couple, married for six to seven years, had been caught in a cycle of escalating domestic violence. The murder took place one day before a hearing for a protective order against Tran.