A 66-year-old convicted arsonist was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and arson stemming from a fire in a mobile home that injured two of his roommates, one of them critically.
Lam Hong Nguyen of Westminster, also known as Tony Nguyen, faces a sentence enhancement allegation of attempted premeditated murder, making his potential punishment a life sentence if he’s convicted.
Nguyen is additionally charged with one felony count each of arson with great bodily injury, arson of an inhabited structure and aggravated arson with a prior conviction for arson. His arraignment was rescheduled to March 29 in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana.
Police were called to 9702 Bolsa Ave. about 6:45 a.m. Saturday regarding a fire at a mobile home complex where the defendant resides. Multiple roommates of the defendant were inside the mobile home at the time of the blaze, police said.
Two female residents were hospitalized for smoke inhalation and burns, with one admitted in critical condition. The 55-year-old woman with the most serious injuries is expected to recover, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough.
Court records show that Nguyen pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, 2017, to a felony count of arson of property in a plea deal in which a felony count of arson of an inhabited dwelling was dismissed. In that case, Nguyen admitted setting fire to a doormat in Westminster on Aug. 11, 2017. He was sentenced initially to 120 days in jail, but due to probation violations ended up being sentenced to 16 months in prison in December, according to court records.
According to a probation violation report filed last year, Nguyen was arrested by Garden Grove police for methamphetamine use. At the time, he was homeless and was seeking mental health treatment for schizophrenia and a depressive disorder, a probation officer reported.
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