FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Plantation man accused of killing his ex-wife is being held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder.
Brandon Ngo, 51, shot and killed his wife Jade Nguyen, 27, during an argument in their apartment in the 8700 block NW 4th Court on Saturday, according to the police.
Ngo reportedly he took pictures of the aftermath of the shooting and sent them to an acquaintance, according to The Sun-Sentinel. That acquaintance then forwarded the pictures to Nguyen’s friends who contacted the authorities.
Friends and clients are mourning Jade’s death and celebrating her life where she worked at the Contour Day Spa in Plantation.
They described her as being a bright light, someone everyone loved. But inside her marriage her friends say was domestic violence that she could not escape.
“I want to remember her as a beautiful, gentle soul, wonderful person inside and out,” said longtime client and friend Rosa Grant.
Others remembered her the same way.
“Very kind, gentle, giving woman,” said Robert Allen, Contour Day Spa Director. “Always a huge smile, always a hug.”
Mai Nguyen was Jade’s best friend. She said Jade called her as the couple argued. She raced to the home and her daughter heard Jade screaming for help. They called 911 but it was too late. Mai said Jade just served Brandon with divorce papers.
“She called me because she thinking about Brandon going to kill her,” Mai said. “He said he will kill her when she do the divorce with him.”
Friends say Jade recently moved out, was starting her own business and seemed ready to blossom.
Flor Garcia said Jade felt relief that her husband signed the divorce papers last Wednesday.
“She told me she was finally free,” Garcia said. “That’s what she told me. On Wednesday.”
Two days later Jade would be dead. Flor described a relationship where Brandon controlled Jade.
“She didn’t even know how to get a license because he said she couldn’t drive because she was a woman,” Garcia said.
Mai said she saw bruises on Jade.
“A lot, a lot. He hit her a couple times,” she said.
In a disturbing twist friends say Brandon sent a picture of himself after the murder, with a deep cut in his neck as well as a grotesque picture of Jade’s dead body.
For a woman full of life and light, those closest to her want her death to be a reminder of the dangers of domestic abuse.
“He was obsessed with her,” Garcia said. “He was too controlling. If he couldn’t have her nobody could have her.”
Aileen Rodriguez said Jade worked hard and supported family in her native Vietnam.
“She had a priceless smile and a great energy about her,” Rodriguez said. “She was a vibrant young woman, new to this country and was trying to do everything she could to be a model citizen.”
Aileen Rodriguez said Jade was her nail technician for years and they became close friends. She said Jade told her that her husband Brandon Ngo abused her.
“She couldn’t get away from him as much as she tried,” Rodriguez said. “She had restraining orders against him and the system failed her. They let him go and he went to the house and he shot her and he killed her.”
Plantation Police say the couple had a fight on Friday night and Ngo is charged with killing Jade. Nguyen’s friends said her divorce from Ngo was finalized last Tuesday.
Her friends say laws need to be strengthened to protect victims of domestic abuse.
“How many more do we have to lose to realize that what we have in place is not enough?” Said longtime client Dwight Witherspoon.
“We’re gonna get justice for Jade because what happened to her shouldn’t happen to anyone,” Rodriguez said.
Brandon Ngo is being held in jail without bond. CBS4 News requested a copy of the arrest report from Plantation Police and we’re awaiting a copy.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the cost of flying Jade’s body to Vietnam for a funeral close to her family.