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Thread: Thoa (Thao) Tan Lam - Louisiana

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    Thoa (Thao) Tan Lam - Louisiana




    Facts of the Crime:

    The defendant, Thoa Tan Lam, who had worked with the victims’ family in the past, arrived at the Truong house at 3820 Chriswood Drive in Harvey, Louisiana, on February 4, 1997. Words were exchanged and the defendant shot Phuong Tu Tran, Truong’s brother. Dat Phat Truong, who had been sitting on the sofa, rushed toward the defendant and was fatally shot. Nguyet Minh Lam, wife of Dat Phat Truong, entered the room to find out what the shooting was about and was shot and injured. Nguyet Minh Lam ran outside to a neighbor’s house and alerted the police. Hearing the shots, 8-year-old son Kerry Truong and 18-year-old daughter Han Ngoc Truong walked down the stairs. The defendant fatally shot the girl in the head. The young boy ran out of the house. The defendant went into another room and shot himself in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

  2. #2
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    July 6, 2010

    Thoa Tan Lam entered the home of a former employer and shot four people, two of whom died, and then shot himself in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Defendant was sentenced to death, and his appeal was filed in this Court, but the case has been remanded for the purpose of conducting an evidentiary hearing on the defendant's claim the inadequacy of his interpreter denied him due process. On October 28, 2002, the district court notified this Court it had appointed an expert Vietnamese interpreter to review the court reporter's tapes, etc., as ordered by this Court. No action appears to have been taken on this appeal since December 9, 2003.

    http://87.248.112.8/search/srpcache?....5h7aS0PX57w--

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    1st-degree murder charges filed once again in 1997 double murder case in Harvey

    By Chad Calder
    The New Orleans Advocate

    A Jefferson Parish grand jury has handed up a new 1st-degree murder indictment against a Gretna man sentenced to death for killing a girl and her father 20 years ago, only to have his conviction overturned in 2016 because of problems with his court-appointed interpreter.

    Thao Tan Lam, now 46, is charged with 2 counts of 1st-degree murder for the deaths of Han and Dat Truong, whom he allegedly shot and killed in the Woodmere Subdivision of Harvey on Feb. 4, 1997.
    Lam was in love with Han Truong, who was 18, and he was upset that she was soon to be married to another man.

    Authorities say Lam arrived at her family's home on Chriswood Street as they prepared for the wedding and began arguing with Dat Truong, 57, and another relative, Phuong Tu Tran, 42.

    Prosecutors say Lam then shot both of them, killing Truong and wounding Tran, and when Han Truong came running down the stairs, Lam shot and killed her too.

    Lam also allegedly shot and wounded Han Truong's mother, Nguyet Lam, as she attempted to flee the house with her 8-year-old son, who was Han Truong's brother.

    The boy was physically unharmed but later told authorities that he saw his sister's head "explode like a tomato."

    Thao Lam, who was not related to any of those in the house that day, then turned his gun on himself. He went to the hospital in critical condition but survived his self-inflicted gunshot wound and was convicted at a trial in November 1998.

    He was sentenced to death the following year by former 24th Judicial District Judge Kernan "Skip" Hand.

    In 2016, however, a Louisiana Supreme Court-ordered hearing was held before Judge Glenn Ansardi that included the testimony of an expert who reviewed the Vietnamese translation provided to Lam during his trial.

    After the hearing, Ansardi ruled there were problems with the translation services Lam received that were structural and significant enough to warrant a new trial.

    A 1999 news story on the sentencing made no mention of issues relating to the translation. However, it quoted Lam's attorney complaining that Lam had wanted to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, but District Attorney Paul Connick vetoed a tentative deal that would have spared him.

    Connick denied any such veto, saying that his office sought the death penalty because it was the punishment warranted under the law.

    "This was a premeditated act of violence," Connick was quoted as saying in The Times-Picayune. "If any case warrants the death penalty, this case sure as hell did. ... Justice was served."

    It remains to be seen, however, whether Connick will seek the death penalty this time around. The DA, who rarely makes public statements, has sought the death penalty far less frequently over the last decade than in the years after he first took office.

    There has been an uptick in recent years, however. There are 2 active death penalty cases in the 24th Judicial District Court today: the brutal stabbing death of a Raising Cane's manager in Kenner and the fatal shooting of Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Detective David Michel.

    Connick's office declined to comment, citing its policy of not making statements about open cases.

    Lam is being held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center without bail.

    http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orlea...d7c4c5981.html

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    Ex-death row inmate gets 50 years in plea deal over 1997 Harvey double murder; has already served 20

    BY CHAD CALDER
    The New Orleans Advocate

    A former death row inmate from Jefferson Parish who saw his conviction overturned for a decades-old double murder recently pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

    Thao Lam, 47, was convicted and sentenced to death in 24th Judicial District Court in 1998 for killing an 18-year-old woman and her father as they prepared for her wedding. Lam also shot and injured other family members, all in front of the woman’s 8-year-old brother. He then shot himself but survived and was arrested.

    In 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court ordered a new hearing before Judge Glenn Ansardi because of problems with the translation Lam was provided during his trial.

    The hearing included testimony by an expert who reviewed the Vietnamese translation provided to Lam. Ansardi ruled there were problems significant enough to warrant a new trial, and Lam was taken off death row in September 2016.

    In April 2018, District Attorney Paul Connick’s office secured two new first-degree murder indictments against Lam, leading to a deal with prosecutors on Jan. 24 in which Lam pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter.

    Ansardi sentenced Lam to 25 years on each count, with the sentences to be served consecutively, a total of 50 years, according to court documents.

    Lam, who at this point has spent about 20 years in prison, will have to serve almost that long before he is eligible for release.

    Lam admitted to killing Han and Dat Truong in the Woodmere Subdivision of Harvey on Feb. 4, 1997. Authorities said he was in love with Han Truong and was upset that she was about to be married to another man.

    According to news reports at the time, authorities said Lam went to the family’s home on Chriswood Lane as they prepared for the wedding and began arguing with Dat Truong, 57, and another relative, Phuong Tu Tran, 42.

    Lam shot both of them, killing Truong and wounding Tran, and when Han Truong came running down the stairs, he shot and killed her too.

    Lam also shot and wounded Han Truong’s mother, Nguyet Lam, as she attempted to flee the house with her 8-year-old son, who was Han Truong’s brother.

    Thao Lam, who was not related to any of those in the house that day, then turned his gun on himself, but he survived and was taken to a hospital.

    https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orle...26d2734ba.html

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