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Suspect in Upper Southampton Murder To Face Trial

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Murder suspect Thuy Van Vo leaves district court in Richboro yesterday afternoon. (Tom Sofield)

Yesterday at Richboro District Court Prosecutor Jennifer Schorn, who is chief of the major crimes division for Bucks County, told the courtroom that 31-year-old Thuy Van “Tony” Vo was the man who murdered beloved mother and nail salon owner An-Hnan “Annie” Thi Huynh who was also know to customers as Kim.

The preliminary hearing to review the homicide case lasted about three hours and the defence lead by attorney, Deborah Weinman, told the judge that the prosecutor’s case against Vo was filled with too much circumstantial evidence. She told the court that there was no DNA evidence and no confession from Vo.

Schorn told the judge that many homicide cases are prosecuted with circumstantial evidence because many times like in the Huynh murder there are no witnesses.

District Justice William Benz at the end of the hearing forwarded all charges that were filed against Vo to Bucks County Court for trial.

Upper Southampton Police Officer Ryan Hand, who was first on the scene on the morning of November 8, 2010, testified that he kicked in a part of the locked bathroom door and saw a pair of legs. Hand said he ran to his squad car, got his medial bag, called for an ambulance and by the time he got to the lifeless body, Annie Huynh was dead of what the coroner ruled as homicide strangulation.

The prosecution submitted evidence that showed that Vo’s cell phone pinged off a tower 500 yards from where Huynh’s business Kim’s Nails is located on Second Street Pike shortly before authorities believed he murdered Huynh.

Vo did not ask what happened to his “girlfriend” after police found her dead in the bathroom of the storefront nail salon.

“He showed none of the usual signs,” said Upper Southampton Police Detective Craig Rudisill who testified at yesterday’s preliminary hearing.

Police on-scene at Kim's Nails shortly after Annie Huynh's body was discovered murdered in the bathroom. Huynh's car is the Lexus SUV parked in front of the nail salon. (Tom Sofield)

Rudisill said that when the he told three female employees and Thuy that Annie had died, the three female employees fell to the floor and were crying. Vo stood there not seeming upset or shaken.

Detective James Schirmer testified that when he and a county detective went to question Vo at his Philadelphia home the next day, he would not answer repeated knocks at the door and phone calls. Later detectives made entry to the row home when Vo’s roommate who did not speak English let them in.

Schirmer told the court that after Vo got out of bed to open the door to let the detectives in his bedroom,  he turned around and retreated to the bed and put a comforter over him. The detectives asked Vo if he was feeling alright and he said he was not. He told detectives that he took half a bottle of a prescription antihistamine that belonged to his sister.

“He told me he didn’t want to be here anymore. He wanted to be with Annie. He told me he would die if she died,” said Detective Schirmer.

(Tom Sofield)

Schirmer described Vo’s room as barren of furniture except a mattress, box spring on the floor, a set of large suitcases, bank documents, a portable radiator with an envelope under it, and a small table with photos of the victim and her son on it. Schurmer said the envelope contained a large sum of cash.

Minutes later a Philadelphia fire engine and ambulance came to take Vo to the hospital as detectives noticed his condition was not improving. While en-route to Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Vo told Detective Schirmer he and Annie had a fight the night before the murder over an overnight stay at a casino but did not elaborate more.

Annie’s mother, Tai Luu, tearfully said through a court approved interpreter that her daughter came to her hours before she was murdered and tearfully  told her mother that Vo had taken thousands of dollars from the nail salon’s bank account. Detective Rudisill confirmed this when he testified that Vo had signed for and was caught on surveillance video taking thousands of dollars out of the business bank account.

Luu also told the court that Vo often helped his daughter with banking and making appointments because she had trouble with English.

Vo will be held in county court until a trial can be held.

Past Stories:

Man Charged With Killing Nail Salon Owner

Police Still Investigating Murder of Popular Nail Salon Owner

Police in Upper Southampton Investigating Murder of Salon Owner

Tom Sofield (tsofield@buxmontnews.com)
Online Editor

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  1. February 20, 2011 at 9:16 AM

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