BOSTON, May 23, 2012—A former Dorchester resident pleaded guilty today in the shooting death last year of 19-year-old Derek Matulina at an MBTA Red Line station, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
NHU NGUYEN (D.O.B. 5/5/92) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and firearms charges for Matulina’s slaying at Savin Hill station after Matulina initiated a physical confrontation with him on the afternoon of May 7, 2011. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke sentenced him to two and a half years in a house of correction to be followed by two years of probation, the sentence jointly recommended by prosecutors and Nguyen’s attorney.
Had the case proceeded to trial, Assistant District Attorney Holly Broadbent would have introduced evidence and testimony showing that Nguyen and Matulina had once been friends and had sold marijuana together but had had a falling out over the proceeds of those sales.
By chance, Broadbent told the court today, the two men encountered one another at the subway station. Nguyen demanded the money he felt was owed him and Matulina responded by challenging him to a fight. At that point, Nguyen produced the .22 caliber handgun he had been carrying, and others separated the two.
After Nguyen proceeded into the station, the evidence would have shown, Matulina followed him. Matulina approached him from behind on the subway platform and struck him repeatedly in the head with a padlock wrapped in a bandanna. A physical altercation followed, with Matulina grappling with the defendant, who slipped out of his shirt and from Matulina’s grasp.
At about that point, Nguyen shot Matulina once in the chest, killing him.
Jessica Sheehan was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Nguyen was represented by attorney Randy Gioia.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.