Peoria man pleads not guilty to kidnapping, murder of estranged wife

By WEEK Producer

December 13, 2013 Updated Dec 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. – A Peoria man plead not guilty on Thursday to the kidnapping and murder of his estranged wife.

Phouvone Sophanavong is charged with three counts of First Degree Murder and one count of Aggravated Kidnapping in the death of Laongdao Phangthong, 28, in early November.

Sophanavong, 45, is accused of kidnapping his wife from her workplace in Pekin in the early morning hours of November 4.

Her body was found a day later in a car in an OSF Saint Francis Medical Center parking deck. She died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Sophanavong was then involved in a nine hour standoff with police at his home on 703 Northeast Monroe in Peoria. The standoff ended with Sophanovong shooting himself in the chest.

He remains in the Tazewell County Jail on $5 million bond. His trial date has been set for January 21, 2014.

He faces life in prison if convicted.

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