Man Charged With Throwing Kids Off Bridge Changes Plea

An Alabama man has withdrawn his guilty plea to capital murder charges in the deaths of his four children tossed from a coastal bridge last year.

Lam Luong pleaded guilty last week and told the judge he wanted to be put to death.

But court officials said he withdrew that plea Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

The 38-year-old Vietnamese refugee apparently did not understand that Alabama law requires a trial in a capital murder case even with a guilty plea. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

Attorneys could not be reached for comment on his decision because they were screening jurors for Luong's trial, which will begin when a jury is seated, possibly by Monday.



Previous Story, from 3/6/09:

A Vietnamese refugee accused of tossing his four young children to their deaths from a coastal Alabama bridge has pleaded guilty and asked to be put to death.

Lam Luong told a state court judge in Mobile on Thursday that he was pleading guilty to capital murder in the deaths at Dauphin Island Bridge on Jan. 8, 2008. He also asked for the death penalty.

The plea was made at a hearing on a change of venue motion. His trial is scheduled to start Monday.

Luong speaks Vietnamese and spoke to Circuit Judge Charles Graddick through an interpreter.

The children -- ages 4 months to 3 years -- were tossed from the bridge after Luong had an argument with his wife. A search recovered the bodies.

We'll let you know what the court decides.


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