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Yu gets 10 years in guilty plea deal in Gainesville shooting death of mother of his child, 6

Brian Yu plead guilty Monday to shooting and killing the mother of his 6-year-old daughter the night before he was due in court for child support hearing.

Brian Yu plead guilty Monday to shooting and killing the mother of his 6-year-old daughter the night before he was due in court for child support hearing.

Yu was sentenced to 10-years in prison after a plea agreement between prosecuting and defense attorneys. Three years of the 10-year sentence will be suspended. Yu will also undergo three years probation as part of the deal once released from prison.

“It’s a terrible crime, but this was the best outcome under the circumstances,” said Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert.

Much of the evidence in the case, including journal entries kept by the victim, 26-year-old Linh Thi Pham, was inadmissible and could not be brought forward for a jury trial, added Ebert.

Judge Lon E. Farris accepted the plea agreement and lowered Yu’s charged with murder down to voluntary manslaughter.

The victim’s mother Kimberley Huynh told the court her daughter’s death traumatized her granddaughter, who is still trying to come to grips with her mother’s death.

While sitting at dinner, the child, Victoria, will say “this table is missing one person. My mother is missing,” explained Huynh.

“My heart aches,” Huynh added.

Huynh is now involved in a court battle with Yu’s family for full custody of the child.

The killer Brian Yu sat across from Huynh as she testified, wearing a blue blazer and khaki pants. As he entered his guilty plea, Farris asked him a list of questions to ensure the was freely entering the plea on his accord. After each question, Yu replied “yes.”

Prosecutors said Yu on the night of the November 6 shooting hid out in a nearby train tunnel outside Pham’s workplace, a Bubbles hair salon at 7328 Atlas Walk Way at the Virginia Gateway shopping center in Gainesville. As Pham was leaving work for the night with a co-worker, both walked to their cars which were parked next to each other.

Pham’s coworker, the only witness to her death, told police she and the victim had gotten into their respective vehicles when she heard what sounded like a gunshot. She then looked over at Pham and saw her head fall into the steering wheel of her 2012 Honda CRV, blood dripping from her mouth.

Police were called to the scene at 5:25 p.m to find Pham shot in the head and neck. Police found 30 caliber bullet casings at the scene, according to prosecutors.

Yu and Pham were never married. Yu is currently
married to a Rachel Yu, and they live in Fairfax County.

Weeks before her death, Pham’s daughter sent a text message to her mother saying her father had inappropriately touched her, according to court documents on file at the Prince William County Courthouse. The Fairfax County Police Department investigated the claim and determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute Yu, and dropped the case.

On November 7, the day after he shot and killed Pham, Yu appeared for a scheduled child support hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Pham was seeking back child support payments. Yu was subsequently taken into custody and charged with Pham’s death after showing up for the court hearing.

Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors said they would have shown evidence that supported Yu borrowed and drove a friend’s car to the scene of the shooting. He told his friend he would fix the brakes on the car, while the friend used Yu’s truck to move a couch.

Cell phone records show Yu was in the area of the shooting between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The day of the shooting, Yu called his employer and told a supervisor he would not be able to come to work because he was preparing for his scheduled court case the following day.

Court records detail a five-year pattern of domestic abuse between Pham and Yu. Known for collecting handguns, rifles, and shotguns, Yu once pulled a handgun on Pham and threatened to kill her before shooting her with a rifle.

Yu was sentenced to 10-years in prison after a plea agreement between prosecuting and defense attorneys. Three years of the 10-year sentence will be suspended. Yu will also undergo three years probation as part of the deal once released from prison.

“It’s a terrible crime, but this was the best outcome under the circumstances,” said Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert.

Much of the evidence in the case, including journal entries kept by the victim, 26-year-old Linh Thi Pham, was inadmissible and could not be brought forward for a jury trial, added Ebert.

Judge Lon E. Farris accepted the plea agreement and lowered Yu’s charged with murder down to voluntary manslaughter.

The victim’s mother Kimberley Huynh told the court her daughter’s death traumatized her granddaughter, who is still trying to come to grips with her mother’s death.

While sitting at dinner, the child, Victoria, will say “this table is missing one person. My mother is missing,” explained Huynh.

“My heart aches,” Huynh added.

Huynh is now involved in a court battle with Yu’s family for full custody of the child.

The killer Brian Yu sat across from Huynh as she testified, wearing a blue blazer and khaki pants. As he entered his guilty plea, Farris asked him a list of questions to ensure the was freely entering the plea on his accord. After each question, Yu replied “yes.”

Prosecutors said Yu on the night of the November 6 shooting hid out in a nearby train tunnel outside Pham’s workplace, a Bubbles hair salon at 7328 Atlas Walk Way at the Virginia Gateway shopping center in Gainesville. As Pham was leaving work for the night with a co-worker, both walked to their cars which were parked next to each other.

Pham’s coworker, the only witness to her death, told police she and the victim had gotten into their respective vehicles when she heard what sounded like a gunshot. She then looked over at Pham and saw her head fall into the steering wheel of her 2012 Honda CRV, blood dripping from her mouth.

Police were called to the scene at 5:25 p.m to find Pham shot in the head and neck. Police found 30 caliber bullet casings at the scene, according to prosecutors.

Yu and Pham were never married. Yu is currently
married to a Rachel Yu, and they live in Fairfax County.

Weeks before her death, Pham’s daughter sent a text message to her mother saying her father had inappropriately touched her, according to court documents on file at the Prince William County Courthouse. The Fairfax County Police Department investigated the claim and determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute Yu, and dropped the case.

On November 7, the day after he shot and killed Pham, Yu appeared for a scheduled child support hearing in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Pham was seeking back child support payments. Yu was subsequently taken into custody and charged with Pham’s death after showing up for the court hearing.

Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors said they would have shown evidence that supported Yu borrowed and drove a friend’s car to the scene of the shooting. He told his friend he would fix the brakes on the car, while the friend used Yu’s truck to move a couch.

Cell phone records show Yu was in the area of the shooting between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The day of the shooting, Yu called his employer and told a supervisor he would not be able to come to work because he was preparing for his scheduled court case the following day.

Court records detail a five-year pattern of domestic abuse between Pham and Yu. Known for collecting handguns, rifles, and shotguns, Yu once pulled a handgun on Pham and threatened to kill her before shooting her with a rifle.

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