Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for 1983 Alhambra Murder

ALHAMBRA – A man who fled the United States after a murder and jewel theft in Alhambra nearly 30 years ago was sentenced today to up to life in prison for his crimes.

A Superior Court jury in Alhambra last November convicted 55-year-old Ninh Kim Nguyen of first-degree murder and grand theft. Trial Judge Laura Priver sentenced him today to 31-years-to-life on the murder charge and two years for the theft.

Deputy District Attorney Stacie Mayoras said the jury convicted Nguyen of fatally stabbing Bui Khuyen, 45, on Aug. 5, 1983, and stealing her jewelry. The crimes occurred at the victim’s apartment on North Fifth Street in Alhambra.

Nguyen, 29 at the time and the reported boyfriend of an acquaintance of the victim’s, was investigated early on as a potential suspect. A felony complaint for extradition charging him with the murder was filed by the District Attorney’s office on Aug. 12, 1983.

Nguyen fled the United States shortly after the murder and returned to Southeast Asia. In 1993, the FBI obtained a federal warrant against him. Nguyen was arrested in Cambodia in 1997 after he fled Vietnam following another alleged jewel theft scheme. At the time, he was calling himself Juan Ming and had a passport from Taiwan, federal authorities said.

The defendant was returned to Vietnam, where he was tried, convicted and sentenced to 14 years.

The Vietnamese government agreed to allow Nguyen to be taken back to the United States to face the murder charge in Alhambra. He was returned in October 2008 and has remained in custody since that time.

The case was investigated by Alhambra police and Sheriff’s Homicide. The FBI and the Los Angeles Fugitive Task Force returned the defendant to the United States.