Peoria Man’s Murder Sentenced Overturned

(Peoria County Jail)

Appellate court overturns a Pekin murder sentence.

Phouvone Sophanavong, 50, of Peoria, pleaded guilty to the shooting death of his estranged wife, 28-year-old Laongao Phangthong, in 2013.

Now, the 3rd District Appellate Court in Ottawa has ruled that he be returned to a Tazewell County court for resentencing.

Sophanavong was sentenced to 55 years for kidnapping and murder. His estranged wife’s body was found in November 2013 in the parking deck of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

In 2014, Sophanavong tried to withdraw his guilty plea, alleging that he did not receive proper legal counsel.

The appellate court vacated Sophanavong’s sentence on Thursday.

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