Local news reports
Dawn Nguyen, who bought weapons that a gunman used to kill two West Webster firefighters in 2012, will spend the next 16 months to four years in a state prison.
State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Moransentenced Nguyen on Monday, a month after she was convicted of lying on a firearms transaction form when she bought the guns in 2010.
It was the maximum sentence, yet Moran said it failed to match Nguyen's crime — providing guns to William Spengler Jr., a convicted felon who beat his grandmother to death with a hammer in 1981. He was barred from owning firearms as a result.
The sentence was a win for prosecutors, who sought a prison term. Nguyen's attorney, Matthew Parrinello, previously said probation would be appropriate.
"Everyone wants to connect Dawn Nguyen to that, to say but for Dawn Nguyen that wouldn't have happened," he said of the shooting. "Our position is that isn't correct."
After the sentencing, Ted Scardino, one of two firefighters wounded in the 2012 shooting, said Moran "hit the nail on the head." With a crowd of uniformed first responders behind him, Scardino recalled what Nguyen's attorney said about her nieces.
"Several families here have little kids that don't have a father or don't have a son anymore," Scardino said.
Nguyen bought a rifle and shotgun at Gander Mountain in June 2010. She indicated on a firearms form the weapons were for her, but authorities said they were for Spengler, her neighbor.
On Christmas Eve 2012, Spengler set a fire at his Lake Road home in Webster and ambushed emergency responders, killing volunteer firefighters Tomasz Kaczowka andMichael Chiapperini and wounding Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter.
Authorities say Spengler also used a third weapon — a handgun — to kill his sister, Cheryl, before setting the fire. He used that gun to kill himself.
Assistant District Attorney Timothy Prosperi said Nguyen chose to ignore obvious risks in buying weapons for a felon whom her family called the "crazy dude."
As Nguyen traveled to Gander Mountain, looked at guns with Spengler and filled out the transaction form at the register, she had several chances to change her mind and walk away, yet she did not, Prosperi said.
"Essentially, judge, she ignored these dangers and made a calculated decision to engage in this crime for money," he said.
Prosecutors maintain that Spengler paid Nguyen $1,000 to buy the guns.
Nguyen also faces federal charges in connection with the gun purchase.