Appeals Court Tosses Capitol Hill Restauranteur Murder Case

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee April 19, 2011

A state appeals court has voided a 2007 murder conviction in the slaying of a 53-year-old Seattle woman.

A Seattle jury convicted 72-year-old Tinh Trinh Lam in the 2005 slaying of Capitol Hill restaurant owner Nguyet Minh Nguyen, his girlfriend at the time. Lam was convicted of first-degree murder.

Police records show that Nguyen had been beaten with a hammer and folding chair before her death. Lam attempted to kill himself after being contacted by police at Nguyen's restaurant, Miss Saigon, according to records.


On Monday, the state Appeals Court, Division One, tossed out Lam’s conviction after finding that a King County Superior Court judge erred when he interviewed a juror in chambers.

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