A judge ruled this morning that there was probably cause in the case against David Rich Hang, the Gaithersburg man accused of murdering his 12-year-old step-daughter Jessica Nguyen in May.
A Grand Jury is considering whether to indict Hang.
Hang, 42, of the 17100 block of Queen Victoria Ct., was in the Rockville District Courtroom as Judge James Sarsfield heard testimony from the Assistant State's Attorney and Hang's public defender.
He was arrested in October and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nguyen, who was found on May 31 in the basement of her family's former home on Raven Avenue in Gaithersburg.
Hang appeared in a green prison jumpsuit with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Detective Dan Krill from the Major Crimes-Robbery division of Montgomery County police testified at today's hearing, saying that Nguyen was stabbed in the torso, neck and head.
"There was a lot of blood at the crime scene," Krill said. "You could tell she had been stabbed multiple times."
Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Chaikin said that Hang, an American citizen, married Nguyen's mother in 2006 as part of a scheme to gain her citizenship.
Krill said between $20,000 and $25,000 was paid to Hang by the family.
But Chaikin asserted that Hang felt Nguyen's mother was not working for a speedy divorce like they had agreed to, and Hang began making threatening phone calls to the family.
Krill confirmed the calls were made.
"He said to a family member, if they didn't sign the paper, something bad was going to happen to your family," he said.
Brian D. Shefferman, the public defender representing Hang, questioned the credibility of Krill's testimony and the facts laid out in the charging documents.
Krill, Shefferman said, was not even one of the detectives assigned to the case.
Krill said he had followed it closely.
The case against Hang centers around boot prints and an empty knife sheath found in the basement of the Nguyen home on Raven Avenue in the Hidden Creek neighborhood in Gaithersburg. Statements made today by police and prosecutors, combined with court documents, lay out the following timeline starting on May 31:
Jessica Nguyen and her sister Belinda got home from Gaithersburg Middle School at around 3 p.m. and went to their upstairs bedroom, where Jessica’s sister fell asleep.
Three hours later, their aunt woke Belinda up, asking where Jessica was. Belinda found Jessica’s bloody body in the basement, amid boxes that had been packed for the family’s move to a new home the following day.
Police arrived about an hour later. They found a sheath “without a matching sword,” footprints around Jessica’s body and no signs of forced entry into the home.
“We started looking at anyone and everyone that had access to that house,” Manger said. "... We were keeping the options wide open. There was nothing that pointed us immediately to anybody. “
Blood samples taken from the sheath showed a “mixed profile” of DNA that “can only be used for elimination purposes,” according to charging documents.