A San Jose man was arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court this afternoon on murder and arson charges stemming from the December killing of a fellow homeless man.Quyen Nguyen, 41, is charged with one count of murder and one count of arson causing great bodily injury in connection with the death of 39-year-old Phuong Giang, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Amy Cornell said.Detectives believe Giang was burned to death while sleeping in an encampment in a parking lot at 1692 Tully Road around 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 20, according to police. Nguyen and Giang were both transients living in makeshift encampments in the area of Tully Road and Alvin Avenue. It appears the men had an argument earlier in the day, according to police. A fire investigator determined Giang was lit on fire while he was lying on his side in a sleeping position, police said. Giang was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. A forensic medical examination conducted by the medical examiner’s office indicated Giang died of asphyxiation and had also suffered significant burning and smoke inhalation.Police initially believed Giang was killed in an accidental fire but detectives determined his death was a homicide after speaking with three witnesses, one an eyewitness, who each identified Nguyen as either the person responsible for setting the fire or someone running from the fire.Officers arrested Nguyen on Dec. 31.Giang is scheduled to return to court to enter a plea on Jan. 13.
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