The Ho Chi Minh City People's Court on Wednesday (April 6) sentenced two men to death for killing a senior Party district official last September.
Nguyen Trong Nhan, 31, and Luong Hoang Sang, 20, were also found guilty of attempted robbery.
On September 20 in 2010, Nhan and Sang came to the house of 52- year-old Bui Ngo Thi My, chief of Phu Nhuan District's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, to beat her up for frequently reprimanding Nhan's wife at work and threatening to sack her, the court was told.
When My refused to accede to Nhan's demand that she leave his wife alone, she was badly beaten along with her daughter, who tried to intervene.
When Dang Thi Thu Hong, 47, deputy chief of the Phu Nhuan District Party Unit happened to visit My's house on Huynh Van Banh Street at the time, she was also attacked, and received fatal stab wounds.
At the two-day trial that ended on Wednesday, Nhan's defending lawyer Pham Quoc Hung said that he was right-handed and the use of left hand while stabbing showed that the murder was not premeditated.
The properties and belongings of the victims were intact, which showed that Nhan was not guilty of robbery charges, Hung said, adding Nhan shows signs of schizophrenia.
Dao Thi Bich Lien, who defended Sang, also said he was not directly guilty of murder or robbery.
However, the judges rejected arguments from both defense lawyers, saying there was enough evidence showing their determination to kill the three victims and their intention to rob property. They also rejected the possibility that Nhan has schizophrenia.
According to the judges, Nhan has brutally attacked Hong with a tennis racket and inflicted 24 stab wounds on her, showing his determination to kill. My and her daughter were also brutally beaten and stabbed by Nhan and Sang till they fell unconscious.
The survival of My and her daughter was outside the intention of the defendants, the judges said.
Earlier, Nhan had told Sang several times to kill My. He'd come to My's house alone once but didn't enter because the house was crowded then, the court said.
The judges also acknowledged the lawyers' defense about mitigating circumstances in the case but said that didn't warrant a lenient sentence due to the brutality, seriousness and determination to kill shown by the defendants.
Nhan was an employee of an online game company and Sang worked for a car park at a condominium in District 10 where Nhan was living with his wife.
Both Nhan and Sang said they regretted what they'd done and asked for forgiveness from the families of the victims. They asked for leniency from the court so they could live and rehabilitate themselves.
The verdict sentenced Nhan and Sang to eight and seven years, respectively, on robbery conviction and to death for murder. The defendants were also ordered to compensate Hong's family with VND224 million (US$10,712) and pay My and her daughter VND71 million ($3,395) for medical expenses.
Vietnam carries out death sentences by firing squads. Under a new law on execution of criminal verdicts that takes effect in July this year, the firing squad will be replaced by lethal injection.