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Man gets 6 years in strangling

UCI pharmacology student killed his 71-year-old mother, who had criticized his career choice.

June 05, 2010|By Joseph Serna

A UC Irvine graduate was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for strangling his mother to death after an argument over his career.

Son Richard Lam Nguyen, 31, of Garden Grove, was convicted in March of voluntary manslaughter.

In December 2008, Nguyen was home with his 71-year-old mother, Nuong Nguyen, during winter break.

While he stayed there, he shared a bedroom with his mother.

The two began arguing over Nguyen's career, which his mother said should be in medicine, not pharmacology.

Nguyen was a first-year student at Ross University in Dominica, in the Caribbean, where he was studying to be a pharmacist. Nguyen graduated from UCI with a bachelor's degree in biology.

During the argument, Nguyen became so angry that he strangled his mother in the bedroom. She was 5 feet tall and 80 pounds.

After choking her, Nguyen went outside to his car and slept there. The next day he found his mother dead and called police.

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