Dawn Nguyen Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges

Mar 18, 2013

Credit Jim Day / WXXI News

Twenty four year old Dawn Nguyen pleaded not guilty to charges that she knowingly bought guns for the shooter in the West Webster ambush on Christmas Eve.

Nguyen was arraigned in federal court on a three-count indictment on Monday. They include lying on a federal form, possessing firearms while using marijuana and providing a rifle and shotgun to convicted felon William Spengler Jr.

Outside the federal building, Nguyen's attorney Matthew Parinello says it's going to be hard for Nguyen to receive a fair trial in this community.

"She bought the guns, but the question going forward is are they going to be able to prove their case without a shadow of a doubt. Did it happen the way the public thinks it happened? It did not, definitely."

Parinello says he would likely change the venue of the case  once it goes to trial. The board chairman of the Webster Fire District, Thomas Link, who attended the arraignment, says that's OK.

"I'm sure he's going to attempt to have the venue switched to another location," Link says. "Regardless where that goes, we will follow. We will support all the members of  the fire community - not just Monroe County, but throughout the state. We want to make sure justice prevails here."

Link says if or when the case goes to trial, fire fighters will be out in large numbers to support their fallen and wounded colleagues saying "they're going to need a bigger courtroom." The chief of the Webster Fire Department Craig Akins agrees.

"We are going to be supporting them through this whole process, from start to end - making sure this person is prosecuted to the fullest extent," says Akins, who also attended the arraignment. "So this won't have to another fire fighter again."

Each of the three charges facing Nguyen carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Nguyen's next hearing is slated for May 23rd.