Nhung Troung, 41, was attacked at noon on February 13 by Joseph Harrell, 18, who entered a guilty plea to aggravated robbery inflicting severe bodily harm. The incident left Troung paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair.
On the eighth-month anniversary of the tragedy, Nhung Troung talked with Fox 26 and expressed her satisfaction with the court’s ruling.
“She’s very happy,” the woman’s English translator, Hai Bui from We The People Organize, stated. “She feels justice has been served, she hopes that it’s restorative justice – that Harrell may become a better person.”
Surveillance footage showed Harrell scooping up the woman and beating her on the ground. It also brought attention to the practice known as “jugging,” in which a thief follows victims of bank robberies or malls after seeing them take their cash or possessions.
“People should feel safe in our community and not have to worry about looking over their shoulders whenever they go to the bank or run errands,” Ogg said. “Our organized crime division was ready and willing to go to trial and that is why this defendant decided to plead guilty.”
The Houston lady is getting used to her newfound paralysis. The family’s tickets for their vacation to Vietnam were being purchased using more than $4,000 in stolen funds.
The family was able to make the journey and bring Troung’s mother back to Houston with the assistance of the community. She now assists the family with household chores.
The family’s finances are still a problem since insurance does not pay for counseling or prescription drugs.
According to the rules of the agreement, Harrell cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence and must serve at least half of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Two further counts related to prior incidents were dropped in return for the guilty plea.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sean Kozar-King, who works in the DA’s Organized Crime Division. He gave the Robbery Division of the Houston Police Department credit for their exhaustive investigation of this case.
Zy’Nika Anesha Woods, a 19-year-old woman in this case, entered a guilty plea. According to the DA’s office, Woods will get her punishment in the next weeks.