Bay deckhand indicted on murder charge in boat captain’s death

Tam Thanh Ta
Tam Thanh Ta

A Bay St. Louis deckhand has been indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the death of a boat captain in Venice, Louisiana.

Tam Thanh Ta, 44, is accused in the killing of Tao Dinh Nguyen, 48, of Mobile on Aug. 1 or 2.

A Plaquemines Parish grand jury returned the indictment Friday, according to a news release from District Attorney Charles J. Ballay.

Ta will be arraigned Sept. 26.

Both were working on the Captain Ben 4, a shrimp trawler based in Biloxi, according to the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Nguyen’s body was found Aug. 3 floating in Pass Tante Phine/Sugar Lake Bayou.

An autopsy showed he had died of blunt-force trauma.

Ta was held in Plaquemines Parish on a probation warrant from Mississippi and was arrested on the murder charge Aug. 10.

Evidence submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory linked him to the crime, officials said.

The Biloxi Police Department is among the agencies assisting in the investigation.

Ta was on probation on an April 2015 felony eluding conviction in Harrison County Circuit Court.

The conviction involved his arrest by Biloxi police in a pursuit in December 2011 that ended when his car crashed and damaged seven vehicles. The pursuit began on Interstate 10 near Woolmarket and ended in the parking lot of R.A. Lesso Seafood on Bayview Avenue near Lee Street.

Police had tried to stop him on suspicion of impaired driving. They blew out one of his tires but said he continued driving on three tires and a rim. A K-9 bit him during the apprehension.