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 SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR STRANGLING AND KILLING MOTHER AFTER BECOMING ANGRY THAT SHE DISAPPROVED OF HIS PHARMACY STUDIES
SANTA ANA – A pharmacy student was sentenced today to six years in state prison for strangling and killing 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, was convicted by a jury March 23, 2010, of one felony count of voluntary manslaughter.
The defendant is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in biology. At the time of the crime, 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 was 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 became angry and started arguing with his mother because she wanted him to become a physician and did not support his desire to become a pharmacist.
While arguing with the victim, Son Nguyen became enraged and strangled his mother to death with his hands in the bedroom. He left her 5-foot tall, 80-pound body in the room and slept in his car. The following morning at approximately 12:20 p.m., Son Nguyen called the police to report that he had hurt his mother and she was dead.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.