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‘She Wrote a Manifesto’ | Mom Who Executed Sleeping Sons One Week After Penning ‘Handwritten Will’ Is Jailed for Life


BUCKS COUNTY, PA. (BCDAO) – The 40-year-old mother who shot and killed her two minor sons in Upper Makefield Township in May 2022 will spend the rest of her life in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree murder on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. Trinh T. Nguyen shot both of her sons, 9-year-old Nelson Tini and 13-year-old Jeffrey Tini, in their beds on May 2, 2022, and attempted to shoot a neighbor at 119 Timber Ridge Road, Upper Makefield.

The boys passed away days later. Appearing before Common Pleas Judge Raymond F. McHugh, Nguyen pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and related charges. McHugh sentenced Nguyen to two life terms without the possibility of parole for killing the boys and a maximum sentence of 10 to 20 years for the attempted murder of the neighbor, who was a cousin to Jeffrey and Nelson Tini. All the sentences will run consecutively.

The negotiated plea and sentence “will ensure that the defendant will die within the four walls of a correctional facility” for her unfathomable actions, First Assistant District Attorney Jen Schorn said following the hearing. The investigation by Bucks County and Upper Makefield Detectives found that Nguyen planned the killing at least a week earlier, leaving a handwritten will that instructed the recipient of what to do with her and her sons remains.

In her writings, which Schorn likened to a “simmering rage,” Nguyen blamed others for the problems in her life, which included the imminent eviction from the Timber Ridge home where she was living.

“It’s clear our evidence showed that this defendant had that wickedness of disposition that she had made these plans,” Schorn said. “She wrote a manifesto laying out what she was going to do, and you could see throughout the hate she had for others and the people she blamed.”

Family and friends attended the court hearing, providing emotional impact statements detailing how their lives have been affected by the deaths of the two young boys, described as caring and fun-loving, and loved by all who knew them. Prior to sentencing, Schorn presented a slideshow that showed the two boys in several photos, always together and smiling. In several, they were with baseball teammates, one of the many sports they both enjoyed.

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In the last slide, Schorn played security footage from a home camera that captured Nguyen pointing a gun at Gianni Melchiondo, her neighbor and nephew of her ex-husband. The video showed Nguyen attempt to shoot, but the gun never fired and Melchiondo was able to disarm her, a feat Schorn called “nothing short of remarkable.” Melchiondo’s mother, who is the aunt to Jeffrey and Nelson, testified, “I thank the Lord all the time that the gun misfired.” At 7:05 a.m. the morning of May 2, 2022, Upper Makefield Township Police were dispatched to the Timber Ridge Road residence for a report of an armed subject. The subject was identified as Nguyen who fled in a white minivan after she was disarmed. A BOLO alert was issued to locate her.

At the scene, law enforcement personnel were advised that Nguyen lived with two minor sons. Melchiondo’s mother and a responding Upper Makefield Township Police officer checked the Nguyen residence and found the boys in their beds with gunshot wounds to their heads. Both boys were transported to the hospital with an Upper Makefield Detective, who is now a Detective with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, carrying one of them out in his arms. Sadly, the boys succumbed to their injuries on May 6, 2022. Bucks County Detectives, Upper Makefield Township Police, Lower Makefield Township Police, Newtown Township Police, Newtown Borough Police and Central Bucks Crime Scene Unit were all involved in the investigation to locate Nguyen and secure the scene.

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At approximately 11:30 a.m., law enforcement located her inside her minivan parked at the United Methodist Church in Washington’s Crossing. She was removed from the minivan, taken into custody. The investigation found that after the shooting, she fled to New Jersey to obtain narcotics, which she ingested to try and kill herself. A search warrant was executed on the minivan, and detectives located .38-caliber ammunition, several empty suspected heroin packages, several full suspected heroin packages, and swabs of suspected blood, among other evidence.

A note was located on the passenger-side dashboard and seized. The note read: “Please call 911! My children are Dead in their bed at 119 Timber Ridge Rd 18940”

Detectives also served a search warrant at the Nguyen residence, locating and seizing a handwritten will dated April 25, 2022 – a week before the shooting – that instructed the recipient on what to do with her ashes and the ashes of her sons. The will was signed, “TRINH NGUYEN.”

In addition, a .38-caliber Ruger revolver was located from the front of the Melchiondo residence. During this investigation, detectives learned that Nguyen was being evicted from her residence and was given notice to vacate by Tuesday, May 3, 2022. At Wednesday’s hearing, Schorn praised the incredible work of investigators and the bravery of Melchiondo whose actions likely saved others from Nguyen’s murderous rampage. “I can’t emphasize enough the outstanding work done by this team that resulted in our ability to convict this defendant,” Schorn said.

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