A court in Quang Tri Province has sentenced a 25-year-old medical student to death for killing two people after breaking into a house to steal in August.
Ho Chi Bao, a student in neighboring province of Quang Binh, also got 10 years for robbery at a trial Tuesday at the Quang Tri People’s Court.
Judge Vo Ngoc Mau said Bao’s crimes were serious and the strictest punishment would also deter more such crimes.
He also ordered Bao to pay VND210 million (US$9,340) to the victims’ family.
Bao had promised to get a job for his girlfriend Vo Thanh Ngoc, a graduate of the Hue Pedagogy University.
He took VND50 million ($2,220) from Ngoc’s family to pay bribes to get the job, but spent it himself.
Ngoc’s family asked him for the money after he was unable to get her the job.
On the afternoon of August 7 he sneaked into a construction materials shop near his girlfriend's house that also doubled as the owners’ house.
He was accosted by the shop owner Ho Thi Ty, 35, and her father-in-law Nguyen Van Sat, 94, while rummaging a bedroom.
Bao stabbed them to death with a knife he had brought along and himself sustained a deep cut in an arm during the struggle with the victims.
Nguyen Thi Thuan, the shop’s accountant, arrived at the shop and was also stabbed by Bao.
Bao pulled her into Ty's bedroom, where she saw Ty and Sat lying dead and Ty's two-year-old daughter crying.
She held the toddler and begged Bao to spare their lives. He did apparently, and when Bao was busy taking cash and jewelry he found in the bedroom, Thuan with the child in her arms ran into a bathroom, locked the door, and called for help on her cellphone.
Bao managed to steal a necklace, a bracelet, a ring and more than VND46 million (US$2,050) in cash before fleeing.
He asked his girlfriend to take him to a hospital to treat his injuries, which he said had been caused in a traffic accident.
Bao was arrested at the hospital at around 5:40 the same day.
At the trial Bao said he only wanted to steal something but was confronted by Ty. After stabbing Ty, he also stabbed the old man because he tried to catch him and yelled for help, Bao said.
“It was because of ignorance that [I] committed a serious crime. I accept the court’s punishment.”