Second-strike Ball-Peen Hammer Attack Suspect Wields Second Arrest

SAN JOSE – 50-year-old Diep aka ‘Melody’ Ly is in custody this week as a result of what authorities believe to be a repeat crime from this strike offender.  According to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office, “The matter is now on the court calendar for 7/30/13 at 1:30 in dept. 38 for a plea hearing.”

Diep Ly "Melody"

On May 26, 2013 Ly was arraigned in Dept. 23 in the Superior Court on attempted murder charges under PC 664 (a) – 187 using a Ball Peen Hammer to attack her victim under 12022 (b) (1). Ly also has a history of attacking unknown victims with a hammer under PC 245 (a)(1).

In Nov of 2011 Ly was charged with assaulting a male victim with a ball-peen hammer.  She was charged under PC 667 and 1192.7 in which she had attacked an unknown victim while he was shopping at Macy’s with his wife at Oakridge Mall in San Jose. The victim had been shopping in a different location of the mall away from his wife, when he was approached by ‘Melody’. The witness statement revealed that the victim had walked past her when she asked him, “Are you Vietnamese?” The victim replied, “Yes.” The victim told investigators he then decided to walk away and to go look for his wife in Macy’s.

Security surveillance had shown the victim entering the store when the suspect ran up behind the victim and began to strike him in the back of the head with a hammer. As he turned to see who or what had hit him, Ly hit him in the forehead. The victim then began to run away from the suspect. Security officers were able to apprehended Ly  several minutes after the attack. During the attack, Ly had caused a severe laceration to his forehead making him bleed profusely. The victim was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to the hospital.

Century Mall

Bail was set for $200,000 on Nov, 30, 2011. Ly remained in custody until she was sentenced under the attempted murder charge under California’s third-strike law.  However with the new charge of attempted murder Ly now faces a second-strike.  Under California’s third-strike law each conviction wields a significant increase in penalties. Under her first-strike conviction, Ly had spent 201 days in prison and was released pending probation eligibility. A strike enhancement under the offense sets a 5-year term under the first strike offense. However with the second-strike offense offers a 10-year + term with additional strike penalty enhancements.

Ly was a transient living in the San Jose area when she had attacked her second victim. The victim,with his son and wife, had been walking through the Century Mall located at 1111 Story Road, when Ly came running up behind them and began to swing a hammer at the victim. She was shouting things at random as she swung and hit the victim several times in the back of the head. As Ly continued hitting the individual, his wife began to try and stop her by pulling the suspects hair. The family was afraid that the suspect was trying to hit their son who was sitting in the stroller.

Ball-Peen Hammer

Security officers on scene were able to detain the suspect and end the attack as an unknown person held Ly, so she could no longer swing the hammer at the victim. Security officers took Ly into custody. Video surveillance was provided to San Jose Police officers who arrived on scene after the attack had occurred. Ly was booked into the Santa Clara Main Jail for attempted homicide.

Following Ly’s first arrest, officers had booked her into the Main Jail on Nov 29, 2011. However, she was placed on a 5150 hold were she was transported to the Good Samaritan hospital for a 5150 W & I evaluation before being sentenced.

Second-strike Ball-Peen Hammer Attack Suspect Wields Second Arrest was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Clara

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Amy Nilson

Amy L. Nilson is a freelance journalist specializing in criminal and environmental matters. She has over 5+years experience writing investigative reports, featured journal articles, and has taken on writing fiction and non-fiction prose. She writes for CrimeVoice,, and other news publications. She may be reached at for any comments or suggestions, you might have.