Bondsman convicted for contempt of court, awaits sentencing

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Bondsman convicted for contempt of court, awaits sentencing
The Alexandria Courthouse. (Photo/Missy Schrott)
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By Olivia Anderson | oanderson@alextimes.com

Man Nguyen, the bail bondsman involved in the Karla Dominguez murder case, was convicted for contempt of court on Jan. 26 in Alexandria Circuit Court.

As defined by the Code of Virginia, Nguyen was convicted for “exhibiting disobedience or resistance of an officer of the court, juror, witness or other person to any lawful process, judgment, decree or order of the court.”

Specifically, the court found that Nguyen violated the recognizance he signed mandating that Ibrahim Bouaichi stay at his parents’ home in Greenbelt, Maryland while awaiting trial for allegedly raping Dominguez.

Nguyen, a then surety bondsman with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services who posted the $25,000 to release Bouaichi, went on to employ Bouaichi at his kiosk in the Arundel Mills Mall, spent time with Bouaichi at a local park and asked him to watch his dogs while away for the weekend. While Bouaichi was out on bond, Nguyen gave Bouaichi the keys to his vehicle and home, inside of which was a bag of unlocked handguns. Bouaichi later drove Nguyen’s vehicle to Dominguez’ apartment and allegedly fatally shot her.

Alexandria Magistrate Elizabeth Fuller, whose office issues arrest warrants and holds bail hearings, told the Times in an October 2021 interview that Nguyen came to work after Dominguez’ murder boasting about the fact that Bouaichi had used his gun and vehicle. Fuller subsequently filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, even though she said her supervisor advised her not to.

DCJS opened an investigation and held an Informal Fact Finding Conference which resulted in the revocation of Nguyen’s bail bondsman license in September 2020. Fuller was later fired for speaking with the Times about her decision to file the complaint.

Because Nguyen was convicted of indirect contempt of court, meaning he violated orders outside the courtroom, he faces a misdemeanor offense and therefore a potentially harsher sentence than he would if he had been convicted of direct contempt of court.

According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s motion, Nguyen’s actions “constituted the knowing and willful violation of several of the provisions contained in the court order and recognizance.”

Nguyen is currently out on bail. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 31.

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