Indictment handed down in February murder: Police say money caused admitted gambling addict to commit crime
PLANO - A Fort Worth resident has been indicted for the February murder of a 33-year-old Plano man.
On Feb. 19, Ethan Nguyen was found stabbed to death inside the house he shared with his mother in the 2400 block of Frosted Green Lane in northern Plano. His friend, Peter Phuc Hong Tran, 27, was arrested in May and was officially indicted for capital murder on Tuesday.
Police believe Nguyen was killed over a large amount of money. Tran admitted to police that he is addicted to gambling, and said Nguyen had $10,000 with him the day he died, according to a police affidavit. Tran also told police that he had borrowed thousands of dollars from his sister's bank account, money that was earmarked for her college fund. He also told police he borrowed money from Nguyen and other family members to use to support his gambling addiction.
The affidavit shows Nguyen and Tran were shopping in Frisco the day of the murder and returned to Nguyen's residence around 4 p.m. Police believe Nguyen was killed at that time. The body was not discovered until about 8:20 p.m. the same day, when Nguyen's mother returned home. The affidavit said police found no signs of forced entry, but discovered a kitchen knife -- believed to be the murder weapon -- as well other items including a Louis Vuitton handbag and iPhone were missing. There was also no sign of the $10,000 Nguyen allegedly had on him.
Originally, Tran told police he didn't enter the Nguyen residence once the two men returned, but later changed his story and said he briefly entered the house after shopping. He explained the discrepancy by saying he lied because he didn't want police to think he committed the murder, the affidavit said.
Tran said he was not able to produce the clothes he was wearing on Feb. 19, telling police he threw away the shoes and jeans he was wearing that day. He said one of the shoes became damaged and that he ripped a hole in the seat of his jeans when he was bending over to inspect the damaged shoe. The affidavit states Tran "admitted his explanation sounded convenient."
If convicted, Tran faces life in prison or the death penalty. He is currently being held in the Collin County Jail on a $1 million bond.