Tyce sentenced to life in prison for murder of beloved Hattiesburg grocer

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 12:39 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A suspect who pleaded guilty to the capital murder of a beloved Hattiesburg grocery store owner earlier this month was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.

Christopher “Fat Boy” Tyce, 28, will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility for parole after being sentenced by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich.

Tyce pleaded guilty to his role in the murder of 59-year-old Lisa Nguyen on April 8.

Nguyen’s husband and one of their daughters made emotional statements to Tyce and the court before Helfrich delivered his sentence. They shared what a wonderful wife and mother Nguyen had been.

Nguyen escaped Vietnam in 1975 and was picked up by the U.S. Navy out in the Pacific Ocean and resettled in California. Her family later moved to Louisiana, and after meeting her husband, she moved to Hattiesburg in 2015.

Tyce offered statements of regret and was then remanded back into custody where he will serve his sentence in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Nguyen was the owner of Steelman Grocery in Hattiesburg. She was shot during an armed robbery inside the store on July 20, 2019.

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Tyce, Eric “Lil E” Williams, Stephon “Doonk” Hart and Jatyran “Tug” Tuggle were arrested in the weeks following Nguyen’s death and charged with capital murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and criminal street gang activity.

A fifth suspect was also charged but not indicted.

In September 2020, Tyce Williams, Hart and Tuggle were all indicted for capital murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery by a Forrest County grand jury.

Williams, Hart and Tuggle are still behind bars at the Forrest County Jail awaiting trial.

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