Houston Man Who Killed Wife and Then Staged Crime Scene to Pin Murder on a Black Man Sentenced to 55 Years in Prison

A Houston man was sentenced to 55 years in 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.

Vu Staged the Crime Scene to Make it Look Like a Robbery

Trang Vu and Tuyet Ngoc Tran
Tuyet Ngoc Tran (left) and Trang Vu. Twitter

Tran, 49, was found bludgeoned to death inside her beauty school/salon 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 blamed the murder of his wife on a Black man who silently walked in and out of the salon on the day in question. That same night, Milleni claimed, he left to go buy his wife flowers and saw the same man in the parking lot.

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 years after the killing, Vu sought to collect the money from his wife's $275,000 life insurance policy, instead of letting the money go to his children. The investigation was then reopened and Vu was charged with murder.

Tran Filed for Divorce Months Before Murder

In the months immediately preceding the murder, Tran had filed for divorce from her husband of 13 years. There was an ongoing custody battle between the husband and wife – over the children Vu quickly abandoned, along with his real name, just after she was dead. And there was, crucially, a history of domestic violence.

On the day Tran died, Vu met with a Texas Department of Family Protective Services caseworker as the first of two scheduled meetings in order to determine who would retain custody of the children. The state had previously removed the children from the home due to family violence. The second meeting would have been with Tran, the next day, which she never made.