‘He thought he got away with murder’: Husband to serve 55 years in prison after beating wife to death, officials say

Investigation reignited when he attempted to collect money from her life insurance policy 4 years later

Husband sentenced to 55 years accused of beating wife to death; Investigation reignited when he attempted to collect money from her life insurance policy 4 years later (Harris County District Attorney’s Office)

HOUSTON – A Houston man was sentenced to prison after he was found guilty of killing his wife in 2015, according to officials.

The man, 52-year-old Trang Vu, who now goes by Itani Milleni, was charged with the death of his estranged wife, Tuyet Ngoc Tran.

Tran, 49, was found bludgeoned to death inside her beauty school/salon, located in the 10800 block of Bellaire Boulevard in Chinatown, on July 20, 2015.

Authorities said the murder weapon was never recovered, however, investigators believe the suspect had staged the robbery because most all of Tran’s credit cards and cash were left untouched.

Vu reportedly changed his name three months after his wife’s slaying, relinquished his parental rights to the couple’s children, and moved away from Houston while working as a truck driver.

Documents state that four years after the killing, Vu sought to collect the money from his wife’s life insurance policy, instead of letting the money go to his children. The investigation was then reignited and Vu was charged with murder.

After a six-day trial in September, jurors deliberated for 25 minutes and found Vu guilty of murder. He was sentenced on Thursday to 55 years behind bars.

“Domestic violence can affect any community, and far too often we see it escalate to murder, like in this case,” Ogg said. “This defendant did everything possible to escape responsibility, but in the end, her family got justice. We thank the jurors for their service and for considering all the evidence in this brutal attack.”

“He thought he got away with murder,” said Assistant District Attorney Stephany Abner, who prosecuted the case with ADA Sarah Seely. “We’re happy that the victim and her family finally got justice because it was a long time coming.”

About the Author:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.