Murder conviction of Winston-Salem man accused of shooting woman twice in the head is upheld by appellate court

(Winston-Salem Journal): The N.C. Court of Appeals upheld on Tuesday the first-degree murder conviction of a Winston-Salem man accused of breaking into a woman’s house and shooting her twice in the head, killing her.

Anthony Vinh Nguyen, 27, was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, armed robbery and first-degree burglary in September 2016 after a trial in Forsyth Superior Court. He faced the death penalty, but a Forsyth County jury recommended that Nguyen be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Forsyth County prosecutors said Nguyen and two other men — Daniel Aaron Benson and Steven George Assimos — broke into the home of Sheila Pace Gooden, 43, at 700 Magnolia St. in the Ardmore neighborhood at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 10, 2013.

According to testimony, Nguyen came in first and shot Gooden in the right leg with a .380-caliber semi-automatic gun. Benson and Assimos ransacked the house, looking for drugs and money, and stole a flat-screen TV worth $200.

Prosecutors said the three men had planned to go to the house to rob Gooden’s son, Cody Prince. Prince had gotten into an altercation with Benson before the breaking and entering. During that altercation, according to testimony, Prince swung a machete at Benson.

Just before he left the house, Nguyen shot Gooden again, twice in the head, according to prosecutors.