Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 homicide suspects moved into house arrest

By Nancy McLaughlin
Staff Writer

Two of the four men linked to a triple homicide this summer have been released to home confinement and electronic monitoring.

The two are accused of entering the apartment complex of Hli Nie on July 21, along with her former boyfriend and his brother. The four men are charged with the first-degree murder of Nie’s son, her friend and her new boyfriend.

The four were also charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in the wounding of two others, including Hli Nie.

None of the charges have been dropped, despite the release of Fnu Angu, 26, of 508 Greenbriar Road; and Ayun Yy, 28, of 1407 Mayfair Ave.; from physical custody.

“The decision to do that is not ours,” Greensboro police spokeswoman Susan Danielsen said. “That’s up to the district attorney’s office.”

Hoanh Rcom, 34, of 3205 Presley Way, the former boyfriend and father of Nie’s two children; and his brother Polly Rcom, 26, of 1217 Park Ave., remain in jail without bond on murder charges. Hoanh Rcom was indicted Sept. 19 and his next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 31.

Polly Rcom and the two other men have yet to be indicted by a grand jury.

“The facts suggest there may be some difference in the knowledge that these three had before they went over there that night,” said Assistant District Attorney Howard Neumann, who declined to comment further.

Angu’s attorney, Robert McClellan, said his client’s “role may be different than initially perceived by the police.” Scott Coalter, the attorney for Ayun Yy, also would not comment specifically on the case against his client.

But speaking in general terms, Coalter said sometimes people are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and determining whether they have committed a crime depends on their mental state.

“Sometimes it takes a while to sort those things out,” he said.

“We are obviously hopeful that at some point the state will come to the conclusion that Ayun is a witness.”

Fnu Angu and Ayun Yy’s conditions in the electronic monitoring program are the same as others enrolled in it, including a curfew, Neumann said.

If convicted of the charges, all four of them could face the death penalty or spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Police say Hli Nie had just returned to her new apartment on Brandonshire Court on July 21 from a night at the movies when the shooting began.

The four men are alleged to have been waiting there for her.

Hli Nie had three weeks earlier obtained a restraining order against Hoanh Rcom, the ex-boyfriend, claiming that he’d beaten her, shot a pet and threatened to kill her and her children.

Killed were 6-year-old Jason, the son of Hli Nie and Hoanh Rcom; Joshua “Josh” Samuel Prago, Nie’s boyfriend; and family friend Hdingh Nie. Hdingh Nie’s 12-year-old daughter was also wounded.

Hli Nie suffered a gunshot wound in her hand. Hli Nie and Hoanh Rcom’s then-10-year-old daughter escaped injury.

“They’re adjusting and doing remarkably well,” Lindsay Cloer, a close family friend, said of Hli Nie and her daughter.

Most of the victims and the defendants are Montagnards, part of a tight-knit local community of immigrants from Vietnam.

Prago, who was from Greensboro, and Hli Nie, had been dating for about four months. He had been taking Hli Nie and her children to church with him, and more recently, took them on a vacation with his extended family.

Contact Nancy McLaughlin at 373-7049 or

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