Philip Ngoc Nguyen
Philip Ngoc Nguyen

[UPDATED with Gun Was Her Gift to Him:] Uyennie Ton, OC Homicide No. 44: Fiancé Philip Ngoc Nguyen Accused of Shooting Her in Head

UPDATE, OCT. 10, 3:47 P.M.: The gun Philip Ngoc Nguyen used to kill his fiancée Uyennie Ton had been her gift to him, according to a prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the Orange County District Attorney's office has corrected its original account, stating that Ton did not live in the Fountain Valley trailer where her body was found and where Nguyen resides with his parents.

Ton and Nguyen were avid target shooters, and she gave her fiancé what would become a murder weapon as a present, Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste reportedly told the Los Angeles Times. The prosecutor did not disclose what kind of gun it was.

Balleste reportedly added that the case took several months to prepare--Ton died in February but Nguyen was only arrested Thursday--because detectives "had to scientifically prove" whether it could have been a suicide as the suspect and his mother said it was.

ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 7, 10:37 A.M.: When her future mother-in-law discovered the body of Uyennie Ton in her fiancé's bedroom in February, the older woman dialed 9-1-1 to report a suicide.

But, based on the gunshot wound to Ton's head, Fountain Valley police investigators determined the victim could not have killed herself.

Thursday, officers from the same agency arrested Philip Ngoc Nguyen for his fiancée's murder.

According to prosecutors, Nguyen originally proposed to Ton after she confronted the 25-year-old she had been with for three years about a sexual relationship he was having with another woman. He is accused of proposing marriage and promising to end the affair.

A few days later, on Feb. 25, Nguyen is said to have called the other woman to come over to his parents' Fountain Valley trailer home for sex. Nguyen and Ton both lived there as well. The phone call led to an argument that ended with Nguyen shooting Ton in the head, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).

The sound of the gunshot awoke Nguyen's mother, who placed the emergency call about a suicide in her trailer. Her son is now charged with one felony count of murder with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm and the personal use of a firearm causing death.

Currently being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail before his scheduled Tuesday arraignment, Nguyen could receive a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison if convicted, according to the OCDA.

Ton's family resides in Westminster. There is a Facebook page for a Uyennie Ton of Westminster that indicates she's a 2002 graduate of Mater Dei High School. This is the admittedly small profile photo:

One of that Uyennie Ton's Facebook friends is a Philip Nguyen, who is a 2005 Fountain Valley High School graduate. Here is his profile photo:

That does not appear to be Ton next to him. (Writer's note--in the comments below, an anonymous reader who claims to have known the couple says these are their Facebook pages and that Ton is next to Nguyen above.)

Here's is the arrested Nguyen's booking photo, courtesy of the OCDA:


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