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Firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh.

Woman convicted for arson that killed two firefighters

A nail salon manager was convicted Monday on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson in connection with a fire that killed two Kansas City firefighters.

Jackson County circuit judge found 46-year-old Thu Hong Nguyen guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, second-degree arson and second-degree assault.

Her sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14. She could be facing to up to 30 years in prison for each murder charge. After Judge Joel P. Fahnestock’s verdict, Nguyen was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

firefightersForty-three-year-old Larry Leggio and 39-year-old John Mesh were killed when a brick wall fell on them as they fought a fire at a three story building containing Nguyen’s nail salon in October 2015. Two other firefighters were seriously injured.

“It answers a lot of questions that we’ve all had deep down in our heart and has lifted a little bit of weight off our chest to where we can finally continue on with our healing process,” said Missy Leggio, the widow of Larry Leggio, after the verdict. “We still have a little bit of a way to go.”

According to authorities, Nguyen lit a fire in the nail salon’s storeroom and was the last person seen leaving the building.

The prosecution portrayed Nguyen as someone who had a habit of burning businesses for insurance money.

Nguyen also was found guilty of first-degree arson in a separate fire in 2013 at a nail salon she operated in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit.