Rochester, N.Y. – The woman accused of supplying the weapons used in a deadly Christmas Eve attack on West Webster firefighters pleaded not guilty to a three-count indictment in federal court Monday.
Dawn Nguyen, 24, is accused of three federal gun crimes including making a false statement in connection to purchasing firearms, possessing firearms while being an unlawful user of marijuana, and of selling firearms to a known felon.
Authorities claim that in 2010 Nguyen lied on a form when she purchased a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun and a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle at Gander Mountain in Henrietta. She’s accused of knowingly giving those weapons to William Spengler Jr, a known felon who served prison time for manslaughter in the death of his own grandmother.
Spengler used those two weapons on December 24, 2012 when he fired upon four West Webster Firefighters responding to a fire at Spengler’s Lake Road home. Two of the firefighters were killed; two more are still recovering from their injuries.
Spengler is suspected of also killing his sister that day before turning a gun on himself and ending his own life.
Each of the crimes Nguyen faces carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, three years of post-release supervision, and a $250,000 fine.
Could The Trial Be Moved?
After her arraignment Dawn Nguyen’s lawyer was asked if he thinks his client can get a fair trial in Monroe County given the amount of attention the events of Christmas Eve received.
“I doubt it,” lawyer Matt Parrinello said while not yet committing to making a motion to change the trial’s venue. “I'm sure that's probably down the line I mean we'll have to do our research and see if it's appropriate but I would probably say, and I think everyone would agree, it would be very difficult to get a fair trial here.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would not comment on the possibility of moving the trial.
A federal courthouse in Buffalo remains in jurisdiction of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York.
What Did Nguyen Tell Police On Christmas Eve?