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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University November 27, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 12
Accused Killer of Linda Trinh Pleads Guilty

The man accused of killing Johns Hopkins student Linda Trinh last year pleaded guilty on Nov. 14 to the charge of first-degree murder. He did so on the eve of his trial.

Donta Allen, 28, admitted that he killed Trinh, 21, in her residence near campus during a burglary attempt in January 2005. In his statement to police, Allen said that he had burglarized the apartment once before and did not expect Trinh to be home. When he found Trinh in the apartment, the two fought when she tried to call the police, the Associated Press reported.

Allen's trial was originally scheduled for Jan. 17 and was postponed three times. The latest change, from Sept. 6 to Nov. 14, was made because the state's attorney assigned to the case had resigned. In exchange for his plea, Allen will receive a life sentence and could be eligible for parole.

Trinh, a 21-year-old biomedical engineering major and former president of her sorority, was found dead on Jan. 23, 2005, in her residence in the Charles Apartments, at that time a privately owned building. It was bought by Johns Hopkins in February 2006.

Allen, a non-Hopkins affiliate described by Baltimore City police as a "close friend" of one of Trinh's sorority sisters, was arrested on March 23 and later charged with first-degree murder. Police possessed compelling DNA evidence that linked Allen to the crime, and Allen's attorney told the Associate Press that he had encouraged his client to accept the plea because he "would have been found guilty easily."


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