Man accused of cutting wife’s throat, holding her hand as she died faces Seminole County judge

Xichen Yang, 21, held without bond

A 21-year-old man accused of killing his wife faced a judge for the first time Thursday.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A 21-year-old man accused of killing his wife faced a judge for the first time Thursday.

The hearing for Xichen Yang lasted only a few minutes. Yang, who appeared in custody from the Seminole County jail, said only a few words to the judge when asked if he understood his bond and the charges he is facing.

Yang is held without bond on charges of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Altamonte Springs Police said Thursday their officers had been called to Yang’s home on Ballard Street three times before his wife, Nhu Quynh Pham, was found dead Tuesday. A spokesperson for the department confirmed to News 6 they received two calls for service in May and one in June. The most recent call came 11 days before Pham’s death.

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“She called where he was doing self-harm to himself, and they had gotten into an altercation. There was a history of altercations,” said police spokesperson Michelle Montalvo. “When officers got on scene and got all the details, they were able to determine he was doing self-harm to himself, and the victim was also concerned for him. He was taken into protective custody.”

A report from Orange County shows Yang was arrested by deputies after a fight in January. The document, which shows a charge of battery, states Pham was hit in the face. The couple was 6 months into their marriage at the time.

“It seemed like they must have reconciled, and they were living together at this apartment,” Montalvo said.

When officers arrive at the couple’s home near Eastmonte Park Tuesday, they found Pham in the bathroom with a stab wound on her neck, according to an arrest report.

On Thursday, police released audio of the 911 call for help. The caller, Yang’s employer, tells dispatch that Yang confessed to his son. The arrest report shows the employer’s son also told police that Yang told him he became upset after Pham burned his passport.

“The victim is 21 years old, a very young woman who had her whole life ahead of her. A life that she will never get to see and enjoy because she was brutally murdered,” Montalvo said.

Altamonte Springs police the woman’s death is a tragedy for the community and her family.

“Officers frequently encounter people experiencing mental illness and we hope that people know there are resources out there, whether it be mental illness or domestic violence,” Montalvo said.

Yang is expected back in court in August.

About the Author:

Catherine, born and raised in Central Florida, joined News 6 in April 2022.