Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
PHARMACY STUDENT FACES TRIAL FOR STRANGLING AND MURDERING MOTHER AFTER BECOMING ANGRY THAT SHE DISAPPROVED OF HIS STUDIES
*Victim wanted her son to become a physician
SANTA ANA – A pharmacy student faces trial tomorrow for strangling and murdering his mother after becoming angry that she disapproved of his pharmacy studies and wanted him to become a physician. Son Richard Lam Nguyen, 31, Garden Grove, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are scheduled to begin today, Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
The defendant is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in biology. At the time of the murder, he was a first-year student at Ross University in Dominica, located in the Caribbean, studying to be a pharmacist.
Late on the night of Dec. 20, 2008, Son Nguyen is accused of being home with his 71-year-old mother, Nuong Nguyen, while on break from school. The defendant was living in a room that he shared with the victim in a Garden Grove home. The defendant is accused of arguing with his mother and becoming angry that she wanted him to become a physician and did not support his desire to become a pharmacist.
While arguing with the victim, Son Nguyen is accused of becoming enraged and strangling his mother to death with his hands in the bedroom. He is accused of leaving her 5-foot tall, 80-pound body in the room and sleeping in his car. The following morning at approximately 10:30 a.m., Son Nguyen is accused of calling the police to report that his mother had passed away.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.