The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 29, 2012

Woman charged in New York firefighter slayings

(Continued)

During an interview late on Christmas Eve, she told police she had bought the guns for personal protection and that they were stolen from her vehicle, though she never reported the guns stolen. The day after the shootings, Nguyen texted an off-duty Monroe County Sheriff's deputy with references to the killings. She later called the deputy and admitted she bought the guns for Spengler, police said Friday.

That information was consistent with a suicide note found near Spengler's body after he killed himself. The rambling, typed letter spelled out Spengler's intention to destroy his neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people."

Nguyen is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 8. She declined comment Friday, and a working phone number for her lawyer could not be found.

The .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, which had a combat-style flash suppressor, is similar to the one used by the gunman who massacred 20 children and six women in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school earlier this month.

As police announced the charges against Nguyen, a clearer portrait of Spengler began to emerge, in the words of wary parole commissioners who kept him locked up until the law said they had to let him go.

At his final parole hearing in 1995, the then-45-year-old Spengler repeated his desire to get out of prison while he still had time to rebuild his life. He also took issue with a previous decision not to release him because the board believed he remained a danger to society.

"You know, the only area of confusion, the last Board, they said that I might be a danger to the community at that time," he said. "I can't figure out where in my record it shows that."

"Well, 13 shots to the head. The grandmother. You killed a 92-year-old woman. We are worried about that," a board member replied. "There might be another occasion where you lose your temper and you might repeat that behavior. That is what frightens us. That frightens us."

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