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Woman accused in fire that killed 2 firefighters asks for bond reduction and translator

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Thu Nguyen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thu Hong Nguyen, the woman accused of setting fire to the building on Independence Avenue that killed two Kansas City, Mo. firefighters Oct. 12, was in court Thursday, where her attorney asked for a reduction in her $2 million bond, and a translator.

The latter was provided.

Nguyen’s appearance in court lasted less than four minutes.

In addition to the bond reduction request and a translator, Nguyen’s attorney also asked Judge Jalialah Otto to allow Nguyen to take her medications.  Bill Shull, the attorney from Liberty, said Nguyen has fallen twice during her stay in jail, and said Nguyen’s medical conditions are to blame, although he did not elaborate specifically on her medical conditions.

Nguyen and her family maintain her innocence.

Thu Hong Nguyen is scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 3 for a bond hearing. Thu Hong Nguyen has been associated with several fires and an insurance fraud case. She’s charged with second-degree murder and arson in the October 12 fire that killed firefighters John Mesh and Larry Leggio.

In 2011 she was reported for insurance fraud by a representative at Farmers Insurance. The suspected fraud was for questionable auto theft, and was reported to two agencies, including the National Insurance Crime Bureau. That same year, the home she rented from her brother caught fire. In 2013 a fire started at her nail station, Nails USA, in Lee’s Summit just after closing time. Emily Jarboe works next to Nails USA and was there the day it caught fire. She says that fire should have been given a closer look, and noted some odd behavior. In January of this year, a fire started in the vacant apartment directly above LN Salon and Spa on Independence Avenue. For all of those fires, Nguyen received insurance payouts.