Houston Teenager Sentenced To 30 Years After Paralyzing Woman In Attack

Joseph Harrell, the 18-year-old teenager who threw 41-year-old Nhung Troung to the ground during a robbery in Houston’s Chinatown district, has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison after accepting a plea deal.

According to KPRC, Harrell, who also attacked two other people, was caught on camera throwing Troung onto the concrete. The 41-year-old mother was left paralyzed. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg credited the City of Houston’s organized crime division as a factor in securing the plea deal, saying, “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. Our organized crime division was ready and willing to go to trial, and that is why this defendant decided to plead guilty.”

Ogg’s office says that Harrell must serve half his sentence before parole. He also cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence in exchange for getting the charges from two other attacks he committed dropped.

Sean Kozar-King, the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Organized Crime Division, who was responsible for prosecuting the case, told KPRC reporters, “She was going about her daily routine and had taken money out of the bank to go see her family in Vietnam, and that’s when he attacked.” 

“He not only stole a significant amount of money, but he paralyzed her, maybe forever. It’s still unclear how long she will be in a wheelchair.”

Troung recently spoke to KHOU through an interpreter, and she said that while she understood that “30 years is a long time” to be behind bars, she didn’t want what happened to her to happen to anyone else.

The paralyzed mom is also focusing on her recovery and trying to get as much of her life back as possible, as the interpreter told KHOU, “This jugging has to end. We all want to have a life. Thirty years is a long time, she agrees, but still, what matters is she wants to walk again. She wants to get back to her routine and a life.”

Troung continued, “We want to send a message to all these juggers out there that, hey, 30 years is a long time, and we don’t want this to happen to anyone, any race, anybody to ruin someone’s life like this.” 

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