An act of domestic violence ignited into a horrifying murder — all because a young woman stood up for her mother.
According to a probable cause statement from police in Seattle, a University of Washington student named Angelina Tran was murdered by her stepfather in one of the most brutal slayings we’ve ever heard of. Per the statement — which was supported by security camera footage — Angelina’s mother and stepfather were arguing in the early morning on August 7 when he got violent, hitting the poor woman at least 15 times. Angelina heard the attack and got in the way, getting struck instead as he continued to swing at the mother. Ultimately her mom was able to get away, leaving the 21-year-old to bear all of her stepfather’s wrath instead. Prosecutors said in a criminal complaint:
“Angelina Tran’s intervention allowed her mother to escape and hide in a nearby bedroom, but the defendant did not stop his attack.”
Angelina’s mom called 911 from her hiding place in the Beacon Hill home, but the response wasn’t even close to making it in time to save her daughter.
Related: North Carolina Woman Arrested For Allegedly Faking Her Own Murder
The engineering student and her stepfather wrestled, according to authorities, falling onto a folding dog kennel. The stepdad, identified as Nghiep Kein Chau, could then be seen in the video dragging her back into the kitchen, opening a drawer, and pulling out a meat cleaver. According to the docs, throughout the attack, “Angelina continued to try and fight Nghiep off, and at times turned her back toward him, resulting in her getting stabbed in the back.” Prosecutors say he stabbed his stepdaughter over and over until well after she “stopped displaying any signs of life.”
Perhaps most shockingly Chau took a long break and then returned to stabbing. He told police he took the time to change his clothes at one point because there was too much blood — and he had gotten so wet he got cold.
Yeah. We’re struggling to wrap our heads around that one. He… got cold.
Police who watched the footage say he also took a break to search for the mother, whom he told the cops he was also planning on killing. Thankfully law enforcement finally arrived before he found her. They said Chau was covered in blood again and holding a bloody knife — “which he dropped when ordered to do so by officers”. They then found the “stabbed and obviously deceased body” of Angelina Tran, “lying on her back on the floor of the kitchen.” Chau then mumbled to police, chillingly:
“I killed somebody.”
The court docs say ultimately, per law enforcement’s review of the video, Chau “stabbed Angelina at least 107 times in the torso, using both the knife that he was carrying when confronted by arresting officers, and a separate meat cleaver style knife that he obtained from a kitchen drawer.”
The 54-year-old has been charged with first degree murder and first degree attempted murder, and is being held in the King County Correctional Facility on an insurmountable $5,000,000 bail.
Chau told police during his interrogation that the fight began as a squabble over money — and he ultimately feared she “would divorce him and take his money.” He admitted, however, she never said anything specifically about doing that, he just assumed it. BTW, he and the mother had been together for 19 years, according to records — almost Angelina’s entire life; she reportedly viewed him as her father.
A GoFundMe was set up in Angelina’s name, with all money donated going to the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging. The charitable drive is in tribute to the young woman’s “commitment to making a difference in the lives of elderly individuals.” Per the page:
“Her radiant smile was a source of immense joy, and though the ache of her loss is deep, we believe Angelina would want us to stand strong and keep our smiles bright. Angelina possessed a deep love and compassion for the elderly, and she held a strong desire to support them in any way she could.”
Wow. And her final act was spent trying to protect her mother from abuse. What a loss. R.I.P.
[Image via GoFundMe/Fox 13/YouTube.]