Peoria man who received 55 years in jail wants to withdraw guilty plea in wife's death


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PEKIN, Illinois — A central Illinois man who was sentenced to 55 years in prison for fatally shooting his wife says he wants to retract his guilty plea.

The Pekin Daily Times reports (http://bit.ly/1jr5wZf ) that 45-year-old Phouvone Sophanavong (poo-VAHN' suh-FAHN'-uh-vong) says he received ineffective counsel from his lawyers and wasn't in the right state of mind when he pleaded guilty in April.

In May, he filed a motion to withdraw his plea.

Sophanavong was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping of his wife, Laongdao Phangthong (long-DOW' gang-THONG').

One of Sophanavong's lawyers says he and the other attorney were prepared to take the case to trial, but respected Sophanavong's wishes to plead guilty and accept jail sentence.

The county's attorney says he'll assign a new lawyer to Sophanavong's case.


Information from: Pekin Daily Times, http://www.pekintimes.com

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