Lam Luong: Man throws four children off Dauphin Island bridge
DISCLAIMER: This story includes discussion of child deaths. Reader discretion is advised.
BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WKRG) – In 2008, four children were thrown off the bridge at Dauphin Island, killing them all. The man who did it was sentenced to death, but his sentence was later changed to life in prison, angering many in the community. This is the story of Lam Luong.
WKRG News 5 looks back at the crimes that shocked the Gulf Coast. Lam Luong’s story is the seventh in the series.
Lam Luong was in a relationship with Kieu Luong and was considered a common-law spouse. According to court documents, Kieu said Lam came to the nail salon where she worked around 10 a.m. on January 7, 2008. Lam allegedly asked Kieu for money, in which case she gave him $31 to do the full of gas in their van.
Kieu said that when Lam left, she tried to contact him several times, but was unsuccessful. At 7 p.m., Kieu was able to get in touch with Lam, who said he left the children with “someone else”, a woman named “Kim”. Later, Kieu and Lam reported to the police that the children were missing.
On January 8, the couple went to the police station to be questioned by the police. They were interrogated separately and during this time Kieu asked if she could speak with Lam. At this point, Lam told him that all of their children were dead because he threw them off the bridge at Dauphin Island.
Lam Luong had thrown Hannah Luong, 2, Ryan Phan, 3, Lindsey Luong, 1, and Danny Luong, 4 months, from the 100ft bridge to their deaths. It took days to find the bodies of the four children. On January 12, Danny’s body was found in a marshy area 20 km from the bridge. Lindsey’s body was found Jan. 15 in Mississippi about 18 miles from the bridge. On January 20, 144 miles from the bridge in Louisiana, Hannah’s body was found. Ryan’s body was found on January 13, 16 miles from the bridge.
In April 2009, Lam was convicted of five counts of capital murder and sentenced to death. In 2013, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a new trial due to “pre-trial publicity”, but in 2014 the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the conviction of lam.
In January 2018, ten years after the murder, Lam’s attorney filed a motion citing a “significant deficit in adaptive functioning”. Lam’s defense claimed he was ineligible for execution due to intellectual disability. Experts for the prosecution and defense found that Lam had an intellectual disability, so his sentence was reduced from the death penalty to life in prison without parole.
At the time of the announcement, many in the mobile community were angry. Even the remission judge said he had no doubt that even though Lam had an intellectual disability, he knew what he was doing. The judge said Lam “richly deserved to die for this,” but he had to uphold the law.