First degree murder charged in High Point killing; Proscecutor charges it was sexually motivated

Bail set at $2 million; If convicted he could be sentenced to up to 26 years in prison

A charge of Murder in the First Degree was filed today by the King County Prosecutor's office against Jose Gonzalez-Leos, 20, who is accused in the December 2013 murder of Nga Nguyen in West Seattle.

Nguyen, 46, was found deceased in her home on December 14. Her death was found to be the result of strangulation and a severe beating.

The charging documents (see the link above) state that Gonzalez-Leos entered the victim's apartment through a second floor window, where he confronted her and killed her. The preliminary findings of the King County Medical Examiner's office indicate that Nguyen was beaten and strangled and found at autopsy with large subgaleal hemorrhages on the left side of her head, back of her head and right side of her head. She had a large subdural hematoma on the right side of her brain. "The victim's throat showed classic evidence of manual strangulation," the documents state.

The documents charge that he committed the crime "with sexual motivation, that is; that one of the purposes for which the defendant committed this crime was for the purpose of his sexual gratification. They say that "while committing and attempting to commit the crime of Burglary in the First Degree, and in the course of and in furtherance of said crime and in immediate flight therefrom, did cause the death of Nga Nguyen..."

While Gonzalez-Leos has no prior felony criminal history, the prosecutors believe he is a flight risk and requested bail be set at $2 million.

They said that he does have a significant history of drug abuse and that he admitted to detectives that he is addicted to marijuana and methampehtamines and "claims he was using both on a regular, if not daily, basis at the time of the crime."

If convicted as charged, the standard sentence range for Gonzalez-Leos is 20 to 26 years in prison. The defendant remains in jail with bail set at $2 million. Arraignment is scheduled for March 19 at 8:30 a.m. at the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle.

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