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September 17, 2014

Woman who bought guns for killer gets (way-above-guideline) eight-year federal prison sentence

As reported in this post last month, a high-profile federal gun case in upstate New York involved federal prosecutors seeking a statutory maximum sentencing term of 10 years in prison when the applicable guideline recommend only 18 to 24 months for the offense.  This new local article, headlined "Woman tied to firefighter ambush sentenced to 8 years," details that the feds today were successful in securing a way-above-guideline federal gun sentence in the case:

The woman convicted of buying guns for a man that were used to kill two firefighters on Christmas Eve 2012 was sentenced to eight years in prison on federal charges Wednesday. The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Judge David Larimer, will run concurrent with a state sentence Dawn Nguyen is now serving of 16 months to four years.

On June 6, 2010, Nguyen bought the semiautomatic rifle and shotgun that William Spengler Jr. used when he fatally shot two volunteer firefighters Dec. 24, 2012. She claimed on a federal firearms transaction form that the guns were for her, when she was purchasing them for Spengler.

"I'm sure Miss Nguyen wishes she could take back that decision she made on that June day, but life is not like that," Larimer said in federal court Wednesday morning. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Noto in court Wednesday had argued that Nguyen's actions directly led to the Christmas Eve killings. "She should have foreseen the possibility of serious harm," said Noto....

Spengler had previously served 17 years in prison for fatally beating his grandmother with a hammer in 1980.

Larimer on Wednesday said he believed Nguyen knew of Spengler's dangerousness, and that she likely knew the facts behind Spengler's killing of his grandmother. Speaking of Spengler's past crime, Larimer said, "that should raise not one but hundreds of red flags that maybe this is not the kind of person who you want to be giving guns to."

Nguyen's lawyer Matthew Parrinello maintained that Nguyen did not know the specifics of Spengler's earlier crime. "This was a quirky, weird, crazy neighbor that she knew," said Parrinello. "But he was very nice, very kind and he did things for her family."

Dawn Nguyen on Wednesday faced the court room — which was packed with police officers, West Webster, N.Y., volunteer firefighters and her relatives — and told the crowd that she was sorry for her actions.

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September 17, 2014 at 03:45 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Curious about the reason the killer wanted to ambush two firefighters•

What would the sentence have been were she to have bought the guns for a killer who ambushed a rogue prosecutor who had railroaded an innocent into prison or onto death row ?‼

Posted by: Docile Jim Brady @Mt. Vernon, OH | Sep 17, 2014 4:46:21 PM

the state of new york should take some blame as they gave this man manslaughter instead of murder they hid it until recently ya we should have all know bullshit they knew but covered it up now my daughter who has never been in trouble has to pay for this mans sins he set the firemen up because they received all his mothers money and they still want more smirking in court with uniforms on seems like a form of intimidation to me the only reason she plead guilty because they said she would get two years well they lied

Posted by: dawn chung | Sep 26, 2014 11:20:17 PM

I seen one comment on here where it said she told the cop she bought the guns well that is false she said no and he made that clear in the court room also the media said it

Posted by: dawn chung | Sep 28, 2014 10:58:52 PM

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