Lawyers react to guilty verdict in trial of Dawn Nguyen

Created: 04/15/2014 6:38 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

After four hours of deliberations, a jury found a Greece woman guilty in connection with the West Webster tragedy. It's been more than a year since four firefighters raced to help families in Webster, but instead came under fire. 

Dawn Nguyen was convicted of falsifying a business record and giving the guns to a convicted felon. 

Firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were killed in the line of duty. Two other firefighters survived the shootings.   

Before the trial, Dawn Nguyen's defense team was concerned about getting a fair trial. They still feel that way after today’s guilty verdict.

The defense thinks the number of firefighters in the court for the trial and the amount of media coverage since Christmas Eve 2012 affected the verdict.

Defense lawyer Matthew Parrinello says just strictly based on the law and the evidence, there wasn’t enough proof to say Dawn Nguyen knowingly falsified the paper work to get the guns.

The prosecution says this case was not about William Spengler and what he did. It was about what Dawn Nguyen did to get the guns in his hands. The prosecutor says they’re asking the maximum penalty of four years in prison.

The defense says they were up against more than just evidence.

Matthew Parrinello, defense attorney, said, “It's tough to overcome the amount of press on this case. It kind of felt as though she had been tried before we even got here today. The tragedy on the 24th, that's a difficult thing to overcome, but on the legally sufficient evidence, I still don't believe that it's sufficient to find her guilty in this case.”

Tim Prosperi, Second Assistant Monroe County District Attorney, said, “We believe the maximum sentence would be required because of the nature of the crime and the fact that it involves guns getting into the hands of a felon.”

There will be some formalities now. The defense will file some motions. The state will do what they call a pre-sentence investigation on Dawn Nguyen. She'll be sentenced on May 19.

Dawn Nguyen faces more serious charges in federal court. They haven't set a trial date yet. 

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