Illinois man wants to withdraw guilty plea in wife's death

PEKIN - A central Illinois man who is serving a 55-year prison sentence for shooting his wife says he wants to retract his guilty plea.

Phouvone Sophanavong, 45, filed a motion to withdraw his plea in May 2014, saying that he received ineffective counsel from his lawyers, and that he wasn't in the right state of mind when he entered his plea in April.

Sophanavong was charged with the aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder of his wife,  Laongdao Phangthong.

According to one of Sophanavong's lawyers, he and the other attorney were prepared to take the case to trial, but Sophanavong wanted to plead guilty and accept a jail sentence.

The county's attorney says a new lawyer will be assigned to Sophanavong's case.

Current Conditions