The Supreme Court Monday rejected an appeal against the death sentence by a man who, together with an accomplice, killed six members of a family in the southern province of Binh Phuoc last year.
In dismissing his appeal, the court said Vu Van Tien, 25, was an active accomplice of Nguyen Hai Duong, 25, the mastermind of the murder-robbery in July 2015.
“Without Tien’s help, Duong couldn’t have carries out the crime. So Tien must be responsible for the consequences of the case.”
The court also dismissed the appeal of Duong’s friend Tran Dinh Thoai, 27, to have his 16-year sentence reduced. Thoai bought the knife with which Duong killed the six people, and failed to report Duong’s conspiracy to the authorities.
Duong has not appealed against his death penalty.
Duong used to be a boyfriend of Le Thi Anh Linh, 22, the daughter of Le Van My, 48, who owned a timber processing company in Binh Phuoc’s Chon Thanh District.
After Linh broke up with him in March, Duong devised a plan to kill the family and rob them.
Early in the morning on July 4 he asked Thoai to accompany him to burgle the family’s house. But when they arrived at the house, Du Minh Vy, My’s 14-year-old nephew, did not open the gate for them, and so they were forced to leave.
Thoai then pulled out and Duong asked Tien, who agreed.
To carry out the crime, Duong, with Thoai's help, bought two knives, a stun gun, a BB pistol, gloves, masks, plastic cable wire and duct tape.
On July 6 Duong again called Vy and asked him to open the gate for him so he could sneak in to steal something. Duong promised to give Vy some money.
At around 1:30 a.m. the next morning Duong and Tien rose a motorbike to My’s house, situated off National Highway 13.
The two men killed Vy as soon as the boy opened the gate. They then killed Linh, her father My, her mother Nguyen Le Thi Anh Nga, 42, her brother Le Quoc Anh, 15, and her cousin Du Ngoc To Nhu, 18.
Police said the victims sustained fatal stab wounds to their necks and chests.
Vy, the first victim, was found in the front yard while the other five were found tied up in their rooms.
However, the life of Linh’s youngest sister, 18 months, was spared.
Duong later told the court he had been fond of the baby during the time he was still dating Linh.
Duong and Tien left the house at around 4.30 a.m. with VND4 million (US$180) in cash, five smartphones, a tablet and a laptop.
The family’s housekeeper discovered the bloody scene three hours later and informed the police.
Duong was arrested at 3 p.m. on July 10 at the funeral for the victims. Tien was arrested at 10 p.m. the same day in his rented room in Ho Chi Minh City’s Hoc Mon District while Thoai was taken in on August 9 at his rented house in the city’s District 12.