The woman accused of supplying the guns used to murder firefighters on Christmas Eve, pleaded 'not guilty' Tuesday in Henrietta Town Court.
"They need a trophy, and they're going after her!" exclaimed Alfred Mancuso, a friend of Dawn Nguyen.
For Nguyen, her life that friends and attorneys call "a nightmare," continued Tuesday.
Nguyen pleaded not guilty to a local felony charge of falsifying business records. Nguyen is accused of lying to store employees at Gander Mountain Sporting Goods in order to buy two guns for convicted felon William Spengler; guns he would later use to murder Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka on Christmas Eve in Webster.
"The whole neighborhood there, they called him Uncle Billy," said Mancuso.
Mancuso was in court to support his friend. He says Dawn Nguyen came to trust her neighbor William Spengler when she lived next door in 2010. Now that she's been connected to his murderous attack, Mancuso says Nguyen is stunned.
"She's just a college student and all of this publicity, putting her all over the news and whatnot, accusing her of being responsible for the killing of these firemen, of course it's got to affect her!"
"We're just trying to avoid all this sorrow and anger that's building up in the court of public opinion," said John Parrinello, Nguyen's attorney.
Parrinello says she has received hate mail and death threats since her arrest, but Parrinello says regardless of how Nguyen's guns got in Spengler's hands, Dawn Nguyen never knew William Spengler's criminal past.
"Spengler had killed his grandmother. And as a matter of fact, she was told by him that he had an argument with his grandmother and she fell down the stairs," Parrinello said. "If she made a mistake, it was an honest mistake."
Dawn Nguyen's case will now go before the grand jury. Nguyen remains a free woman, though she is under supervision from the law.
Nguyen has surrendered her passport and is not allowed to leave Monroe County, except to attend classes at SUNY Geneseo.
Her attorney says despite the threats she's received, Nguyen is not worried about re-entering public life, though Parrinello is advising her to be wary of her environment.