He’s accused of killing his ex-girlfriend. His first murder trial ended in a mistrial

Woman killed, man injured in overnight shooting in Arlington

The pair were in a car parked on Mayflower Court when the shots were fired.
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The pair were in a car parked on Mayflower Court when the shots were fired.

One jury has heard evidence in the murder case prosecutors made against Viet Quoc Nguyen, accused of stalking and shooting his ex-girlfriend, Cam-Tu Tran, to death more than a year after he allegedly strangled her.

After deliberating more than 12 hours over two days in July, the jurors couldn’t reach a decision on Nguyen’s guilt or innocence.

State District Judge Mollee Westfall declared a mistrial in the case and sent the jury home the evening of July 19, almost a month after the trial began.

Nguyen is also accused of aggravated assault, and is suspected of shooting the man who identified him in a photo lineup as the shooter, an arrest warrant affidavit said.

Attorneys are expected to begin choosing a new jury in the murder case next week, prosecutors say.

Nguyen has been free on bond while awaiting a second trial.

Officials with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office and defense attorney Christy Jack declined to comment on the case this week, citing the pending trial.

Police said Nguyen shot Tran, 30, and a man who was in the car with her on Jan. 9, 2017. Police found Tran about 1:30 a.m. in a parked Mercury Sable sedan in the 3400 block of Mayflower Court outside a home in Arlington.

The man couldn’t give police a full interview at the time because he was shot near his mouth, but he identified Nguyen as the shooter in a photo lineup, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Tran’s family told police that she and Nguyen had been dating but that Tran had ended the relationship.

After the break-up, Tran received phone calls from various numbers from a caller who never said a word, the affidavit said. Her car had also been keyed and her tires cut, her family told police. Tran suspected Nguyen of making the phone calls and damaging her car.

Tran’s mother heard her screaming for help upstairs at their residence where Nguyen was visiting either in late 2015 or early 2016. Tran’s father went upstairs and Tran said Nguyen had strangled her. Nguyen apologized and asked Tran’s parents not to ban him from the house, according to court documents.

But Tran told her parents that she didn’t feel safe around Nguyen and broke off the relationship in July 2016.

A week before she died Tran told her father that she believed Nguyen was stalking her, and the family had security cameras installed inside and outside their residence because they feared him.

This story includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3
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