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Florida Man Indicted After Allegedly Slitting Wife’s Throat and Playing Her ‘Favorite Music’ as She Died

Xichen Yang

Xichen Yang

Prosecutors took their next steps this week against a man accused of killing his wife and putting her in a bathtub while she bled out. A grand jury indicted Xichen Yang, 21, for first-degree premeditated murder, and tampering with evidence, the State Attorney’s Office for the 18th Judicial Circuit of Florida announced Tuesday.

Police in the city of Altamonte Springs have said Yang admitted to slashing his wife Nhu Quynh Pham, 20, in the neck. He allegedly claimed he got angry because she burned his passport.

“During the interview Yang acknowledged he could feel himself getting more and more angry before he became violent with Pham and that he could have stopped short of killing her,” police wrote in an arrest report. “When asked why he did not stop himself, Yang explained that was ‘not how he was raised’ and that he is the type of person who always ‘goes all the way.'”

Yang pleaded not guilty on July 6, online records show. He remains at the Seminole County Jail without bond. He is represented by the local public defender’s office. Court is scheduled for Aug. 2.

Officers have said they responded to the residence at the Goldelm at Charter Pointe Apartments on the morning of June 21 over a well-being check for Yang after he did not show up to work. They managed to get a key from the leasing office because of the exigent circumstances, and they entered the relevant unit after no one answered the door.

Inside, they found Pham dead in a pool of blood in a bathtub. She had a deep laceration on the left side of her neck, officers said. A firefighter pronounced her dead.

Investigators said they found two pink rubber gloves on the floor of the main hallway. There was a bottle of pink disinfectant next to it, they said.

No one else was in the apartment, the arrest report stated. Yang was quickly found and taken into custody without incident for questioning, the police said in a press release.

The original 911 caller, Michael Rathel, said that Yang had spoken to his son Michael Cole Rathel over the phone. Yang allegedly admitted to fatally stabbing Pham, and he allegedly added that he was trying to clean up the evidence.

Cops said they got in touch with the son. That son said he had previously called Yang and questioned him about being late for work.

Yang allegedly said he was upset over his wife burning his passport.

“When [the younger] Rathel castigated Yang for not being a responsible employee, Yang went on to tell him that he had actually done ‘unspeakable’ things and that he killed his wife,” the police report stated. “Yang explained to him that he used a knife on Pham’s throat.”

In a post-Miranda interview, Yang allegedly admitted slashing his wife with a knife. She began “crawling down the wall” towards the door, so Yang took her to the bathroom. He put her in the bathtub, “played her favorite music,” and “held her hand” for what he estimated to be about 10 minutes until she died. He allegedly said he did not call an ambulance. Yang said he started to clean up the blood on the walls and floor after Pham died, according to cops.

[Booking photo via Seminole County Jail]

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