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article imageNeighbor arrested as accomplice to shooting of NY firefighters

By Can Tran     Dec 29, 2012 in Crime
Webster - After the neighborhood blaze and mass shooting perpetrated in Webster, NY, by William Spengler, 24-year-old Dawn Nguyen has been arrested in connection with the firearms discovered on Spengler.
An arrest was made in regards to the mass shooting perpetrated by 62-year-old William Spengler, which resulted in the deaths of two and critical injuries of two other first responders. The two people that were killed worked with the fire department of Webster, New York. A suicide note was found in which Spengler talked about wanting to kill people as it was what he liked to do best. Spengler wanted to torch as much of the neighborhood as possible. When first responders arrived, Spengler opened fire. The blaze and shooting took place on Christmas Eve, December 24. While Spengler is not alive to be arrested, an arrest was still made.
The person arrested is 24-year-old Dawn Nguyen. Nguyen was a neighbor of Spengler, a convicted felon. According to the reports, the firearms were in Nguyen's name. Currently, Nguyen is a resident of Rochester, New York. She was arrested on Friday, December 28. Nguyen is connected to the crime through the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and the 12-gauge shotgun; but, she's not connected to the revolver that Spengler had on him.
Currently, Nguyen could face up to ten years in prison and a fine of $250K is she is convicted. Nguyen is charged for making a false statement when purchasing the firearms and the filing out a false business record. She's being slapped with a federal charge and a state felony charge on those two counts. The purchases were made back in 2010 when Nguyen was 22 years of age. When appearing at the US District Court, Nguyen gave the plea of “not guilty.” Right now, she is released from custody; but she is scheduled to return to court on January 29.
How did the authorities connect Nguyen? It was discovered through the suicide letter Spengler had left behind. Nguyen buying the firearms is what is known as a “straw purchase.” If you buy firearms for someone else, then it's a straw purchase. However, you do have to say that when filling out the form. With Spengler being a convicted felon, he's prohibited from carrying firearms. In that case, it would seem that Spengler got Nguyen to buy the weapons on his behalf via the straw purchase.
Nguyen's mother, Dawn Welcher, is accusing Spengler of setting them up. In the Democrat and Chronicle report, Nguyen's lawyer said that the firearms were stolen from her; but prosecutors say that the firearms weren't reported stolen. Nguyen's mother and brother, Steven, are vouching for her defense. Steven also said that Spengler came off as being a nice person but a bit on the kooky side. He also speculated that Spengler had a romantic interest with he and Dawn's mother.
Also, the criminal affidavit against Nguyen is available for viewing in PDF form.
With the talk of gun legislation going on, triggered by what happened a few weeks ago, the talk about “straw purchases” could be addressed.
Spengler became a convicted felon for the brutal murder of his grandmother. He was imprisoned for 17 years. According to a Huffington Post article, Spengler had four parole board hearings between 1989 and 1995. Also is was revealed that Spengler was well-spoken and well-behaved. Plus, it was further revealed that Spengler had a high level of intelligence according to tests.
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