Minneapolis man pleads guilty to killing wife with cell phone cord

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Minneapolis man pleaded killing to strangling his wife to death using a cell phone cord, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Tony Le, 55, pleaded guilty to the only charge against him, second-degree murder with intent. His sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 12. His lawyer indicated in court that he would be arguing for a downward departure from the recommended Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines sentence. Prosecutors will be seeking the recommended sentence of 306 months in prison.

Le, an American citizen, used an interpreter to translate Hennepin County District Court Judge Jay Quam’s statements and his lawyer’s questions into Vietnamese.

According to the criminal complaint and the testimony in court, Le had recently returned home from a trip to Vietnam to visit people he knew there. He and his 48-year-old wife, My Huong Huynh Truong, lived at 1006 W. 61st St. in Minneapolis. Le acknowledged that the couple were going through some difficult times. They had been together for 20 years.

On Sept. 25, 2017, Le testified that his wife returned home somewhere between 3 and 4 a.m. She told him she had been at a party, that she had a new boyfriend and she was going to leave him.  Le agreed that he became very angry and jealous.

While his wife was in the bathroom, he grabbed a cell phone cord, put it around her neck and strangled her until she fell to the floor, Le told the court. He then went to his sister’s house and told her what he had done. He then called police and met them back at his house and confessed to them.

Le’s attorney, during the testimony in court, said that they had hired medical and psychological experts and planned to put on a defense of heat of passion in hopes of persuading a jury to convict him of a lesser charge. However, in recent weeks, Le had told his attorney he wanted to plead guilty to provide some relief to his family.