(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Qui Tu Truong was sentenced to 21 years for attempted first-degree murder and 15 years for aggravated assault in the meat cleaver attacks on two former co-workers.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A man who pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder in a meat cleaver attack on two former co-workers was given a maximum sentence of 36 years in prison Friday morning.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Susanna Pineda sentenced Qui Tu Truong to 21 years for attempted first-degree murder and 15 years for aggravated assault. The sentences are to run consecutively.
"Although this defendant received the maximum allowable sentence for the crimes he was convicted of, it pales in comparison to the unthinkable physical suffering and emotional anguish he caused two innocent victims," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
An angry Truong, who will be 29 Saturday, broke into the home of co-worker Yen Ha, then 54, and her 19-year-old nephew, Trong Nguyen, and attacked them with the cleaver while they were on a scheduled lunch break from work on March 11, 2011.
Truong said he blamed Ha for his firing and had previously threatened her for allegedly talking about him at work in a long-running dispute, police said.
Montgomery said Truong had planned the attack, in which he repeatedly hacked both victims with the cleaver.
Ha is in a permanent vegetative state as a result of severe head trauma, which required portions of her brain to be removed, and her prognosis for recovery is very poor, according to a news release from Montgomery's office.
Nguyen continues to suffer from serious injuries caused by approximately eight hatchet wounds to his head, arms and hands.
Montgomery said Truong will be eligible for release after he serves a little more than 30 1/2 years.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said Ha and Nguyen had worked with Truong at a nearby market.
A manager at the market told CBS 5 News that Truong was fired for not showing up to work.
Police said the attack was unprovoked, and both victims were caught off guard and had no chance to protect themselves against the attack.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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