Seaside man pleads guilty to murdering mother of his two children

A court gavel is seen in this undated image. (SHUTTERSTOCK)

A Seaside man has pleaded guilty to murdering the mother of his two children, officials from the Monterey County District Attorney's Office said Friday.

According to prosecutors, 46-year-old Hai Long Tran pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing Hong Ngoc Nguyen, the mother of his two children, who are 15 and 18 years old.

On April 14, 2016, Seaside police responded to a home on Kenneth Street and found Nguyen's body in an upstairs bedroom with severe head wounds. It appeared she'd been bludgeoned with a lamp, prosecutors said.

The Monterey County coroner determined that Nguyen suffered 21 blows to the head that caused several skull fractures, and that she was also strangled.

Police investigated and determined that earlier that day, Nguyen went to the county courthouse to apply for a restraining order. In her request, she stated that Tran was stalking her daily and that she feared for her life, prosecutors said.

Days earlier, on April 9, Nguyen took her vehicle to a service center where a technician found a GPS device on her vehicle. Nguyen took the device directly to police.

After her murder, investigators found a second GPS device on Nguyen's vehicle, as well as two video surveillance cameras in her bedroom that she shared with her daughter, prosecutors said.

Investigators later found evidence on Tran's cellphone that showed he was tracking Nguyen's whereabouts, prosecutors said.

Judge Carrie Panetta will sentence Tran on Feb. 27 to 15 years-to-life in prison.
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