A court in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre Friday sentenced a 17-year-old girl to 18 years in jail for killing her mother to steal her gold chain.
Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was found guilty of "murder" and "robbery." The 18-year term is the maximum sentence allowed for a minor under Vietnamese law.
Ngan and her boyfriend Dang Van Ut, 30, killed her mother Trinh Thi Cuong, 43, to steal a gold chain on August 14.
Ut was sentenced to death for "murder," "robbery," and "illegally possessing drugs."
A few days before the crime Ngan called her mother to say she was pregnant and would return home in Ba Tri District, Ben Tre, to give birth.
Ngan had earlier left home for Ho Chi Minh City where she met Ut and lived with him.
Cuong, however, would not accept Ut and refused to let the couple into her house.
On August 14 Ngan and Ut went to her house when they knew Cuong would be alone, put some sleeping pills in a drink, and persuaded Cuong to drink it.
After she fell asleep, Ut tried to remove the gold chain from her neck when she suddenly woke up and screamed for help.
Ut hit her on the head, strangled her, and stuffed a cloth in her mouth while Ngan held her legs. They tied her arms and legs to the bed and left with the gold chain.
When Cuong was found the following morning, she was dead.
When the police checked Cuong's mobile phone, they saw a text message from Ngan saying, "I'm sorry, Mom, do not tell the police. I will pay you back later." The police thought Ngan possibly did not realize that her mother was alive when she and her boyfriend left.
They said the couple sold the gold chain for VND9 million (US$431) and spent part of the money on heroin (both are drug addicts) before being arrested on August 19.