ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A New York State woman who made a straw purchase of guns for a man who used them to kill two firefighters was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Wednesday.
Dawn Nguyen, 25, pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges that included lying on the form she filed when she made the purchase of a semiautomatic rifle and shotgun and giving them to a known felon, William Spengler Jr. The federal sentence will run concurrent with a New York sentence of 16 months to four years.
The courtroom in Rochester was packed with police officers and firefighters as Nguyen apologized for her actions.
Nguyen purchased the weapons in 2010. More than two years later, on Christmas Eve in 2012, Spengler ambushed West Webster firefighters, killing Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, and wounding two others before taking his own life.
Spengler spent 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother with a hammer in 1980. A prosecutor argued that Nguyen should have known he was likely to do more harm.
U.S. District Judge David Larimer agreed, saying "that should raise not one but hundreds of red flags that maybe this is not the kind of person who you want to be giving guns to."
But Nguyen's lawyer said she knew little about a crime Spengler committed before she was born.
"This was a quirky, weird, crazy neighbor that she knew," Matthew Parrinello said. "But he was very nice, very kind and he did things for her family."
Before he ambushed the firefighters, Spengler killed his sister, Cheryl, and set his house on fire.