Tan “Austin” Le and Hanh Nguyen met at a on line casino in the summertime of 2017. Each had vital “playing challenges,” in accordance with courtroom paperwork. Their relationship quickly grew to become intimate, ensuing within the collapse of Nguyen’s marriage.
Lower than two years later, Nguyen was discovered fatally stabbed within the basement of the Mould Avenue dwelling close to Jane St. and St. Clair Ave.
“Within the brief span of 18 months, the deceased and the accused gambled $500,000, an astonishing quantity in that time frame. The cash was operating out. That was a part of the explanation this relationship got here to an finish when it did,” crown lawyer Shane Hobson advised Madam Justice Maureen Forestell on the sentencing listening to for the now 43-year-old U.S. citizen, who separated from his household in northern New York in 2017 and got here to Toronto after assembly Nguyen.
Le pleaded responsible to second-degree homicide on June 7, 2022, two days after his trial by decide started. A preliminary listening to was held by Zoom previous to the beginning of the trial.
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Nguyen was murdered on January 24, 2019. Police grew to become conscious of the home murder solely after 911 dispatchers acquired a name from Le requesting an ambulance. Le mentioned on the decision that he had killed his girlfriend throughout an argument. He mentioned he rapidly grabbed a knife from the kitchen and attacked her. He additionally had self-inflicted knife wounds. When paramedics arrived, they discovered Nguyen mendacity face-up on an air mattress, sporting a bra. She had no obvious indicators of life and was pronounced useless at 6:22 am. Her boyfriend was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital with a police escort and was operated on for an tried suicide.
In his sentencing submissions, Hobson known as the killing “a brutal, violent assault” earlier than displaying Le and the decide an image of the crime scene.
“It was a small room. There was an air mattress. You couldn’t transfer round in that room. She couldn’t escape. As soon as that offence happened, there was no manner she may get out of that room. She was defenceless,” mentioned Hobson, noting that she was stabbed 20 occasions and had defensive wounds on her fingers, wrists, legs and ft.
“It took minutes for her to die and, in these minutes, she fought for her life with each a part of her physique,” he mentioned, including that Le let Nguyen die. “He waited 4 hours to name 911 and he knew she was useless. You’ll be able to inform from the decision. The aim of the decision wasn’t for her. It was to avoid wasting himself. He acquired medical consideration and recovered.”
Le was dwelling within the basement of the matrimonial dwelling after operating out of cash. Nguyen had requested her ex-husband, Nhat Do, if she may reside within the basement bed room. In December 2017, Do agreed to let the 2 reside within the dwelling already occupied by himself, their daughter and Nguyen’s dad and mom.
However issues deteriorated between the Le and Nguyen. Simply two days earlier than Nguyen was killed, Le used Nguyen’s password and accessed her mobile phone and found a collection of textual content messages between her and one other man. Le took images of the messages after which saved them on his telephone. That night time, Le and Nguyen have been shedding cash once more.
Nguyen gave Le $1,000 to carry whereas she tried to recoup her losses. Regardless of being advised to not gamble these funds, he did anyway. Nguyen was extraordinarily offended with Le and advised him the connection was over, in accordance with the listening to. She ordered him to go away and return to america.
The next day, Le packed his suitcase and advised Nguyen’s dad and mom that he was leaving and believed she might have discovered another person. He was ingesting alcohol the night time earlier than the deadly assault however blood samples taken in hospital after the homicide discovered that whereas he was impaired, Le was nonetheless in a position to concentrate on his environment and have an working thoughts that would kind the intent to commit homicide.
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Hobson mentioned that whereas Le did plead responsible, it was after a preliminary listening to throughout which Nguyen’s household all testified.
“The trauma of reliving the occasions had already occurred, although they’ve been spared one other spherical,” mentioned Hobson. He advised a interval of parole ineligibility between 16 and 17 years can be applicable, citing a scarcity of regret and calling the confession to 911 “merely an try and cease the ache he was going via on the time.”
Defence lawyer Sid Freeman advised a parole ineligibility interval of ten years can be extra applicable, noting that Le has no prior prison file, pled responsible, and known as 911 and confessed.
Three sufferer influence statements have been learn out by the crown, together with one from Nguyen’s ex-husband and one other from their 17-year-old daughter who got here to the courthouse however selected to not sit within the courtroom.
“After the offence, I hardly slept at night time and napped all day. I used to be too scared to shut my eyes at the hours of darkness or flip my again away from the courtroom,” she wrote.
The sentencing listening to continues.
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