Trial Begins For Man Charged With Killing Young Stepdaughter
David Rich Hang is accused of murdering his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Jessica Nguyen, in her Gaithersburg home.
David Rich Hang, 43, was arrested and charged with the murder of Jessica Nguyen, a Gaithersburg Middle School student, on Oct. 18, 2011, nearly five months after the girl was found stabbed to death in her basement.
Hang's Lawyer Brian D. Shefferman, a Montgomery County public defender, told the jury his client was nowhere near the home when Nguyen was killed on May 31, 2011. He called the incident an “unbelievable tragedy” and denied any accusation that Hang had anything to do with the crime, The Gazette reported.
The 12-year-old honor roll student had been stabbed and cut more than 40 times, Montgomery County prosecutors said at his bond review. Family members found Nguyen in their home on Raven Avenue in Gaithersburg.
According to Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Chaikin, the stress of Hang's marriage to Jessica’s mother, Khen Kim Vu— one that was described as “an immigration sham type of marriage” by Montgomery County prosecutors— led to the killing, The Gazette's report states.
Hang had lived with the Nguyen family in late 2005 and early 2006, Patch reported. He and Jessica’s mother were married in June 2006, but he moved out in February 2007. While there no reports of domestic violence, it “was certainly not a good relationship,” Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said.
Hang filed for an uncontested divorce from Nguyen's mother in October 2010. The divorce dragged out for months, culminating in court proceedings in the days before Nguyen's murder. A week after the girl's death, it was determined that the case could not be resolved because of “continuing involvement” with immigration officials, court records show.
Hang had worked as a RideOn driver in Montgomery County from 2007-2011.
Gaithersburg Man Indicted for Murder of 12-Year-Old Stepdaughter (Dec. 16, 2011)
Judge: Probable Cause In Nguyen Slaying (Nov. 18, 2011)
Manger: "It makes no sense why she was killed" (Oct. 19, 2011)
Stepfather Stabbed Girl 'Over 40 Times,' Prosecutor Says (Oct. 19, 2011)
Stepfather Charged in 12-Year-Old's Death (Oct. 18, 2011)