PEKIN — A man who took a guilty plea in 2014 for the murder of his wife in Pekin has had his sentence overturned.
The 3rd District Appellate Court ruled Thursday that Phouvone Sophanavong's case should be returned to the trial court in Pekin for review and resentencing.
The Ottawa-based court overturned his 55-year sentence on technical grounds, that in the course of the plea the judge received "no information whatsoever" about how Sophanavong's prior criminal cases were resolved — an issue that could have affected the sentence levied by the judge.
Sophanavong kidnapped his estranged wife, 28-year-old Laongdao Phangthong, in the early morning hours of Nov. 4, 2013, outside the parts packaging facility where she worked in Pekin.
Her body was found the next day in a parking deck at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, and Sophanavong barricaded himself into his nearby home at 703 NE Monroe St. Police negotiated with him for hours until he shot himself in the chest. He was then arrested.