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Cold case arrest made in 2006 robbery, rape and kidnapping

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Phounthone “Von” Sanouvong

Phounthone “Von” Sanouvong, 43, is being held on $100,000 in Rutherford County jail charged with one count of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, according to court documents.

Sounavong, who is believed to have fled the state for New Orleans and other locations, was arrested June 19 on an outstanding warrant just three blocks from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, according to Assistant District Attorney J. Paul Newman. He is to be arraigned Friday before Circuit Court Judge David Bragg.

The district attorney attorney’s office indicted Sounavong years ago based on DNA testing and information obtained from the two other men convicted in the case, according to Newman.

The men wore ski masks during the incident, and authorities obtained material from them for DNA testing, Newman said.

Twin brothers, Elgene Porter and Eugene Porter, both of Murfreesboro, have already been convicted and sentenced to prison for their part in the November 2006 crime.

The woman testified in the May 2009 trial of Elgene Porter that three men held guns on her when she was raped and robbed while her husband was gone the night of Nov. 22, 2006. The woman’s 2-year-old child was on the bed during the incident, and the woman sang “Jesus Loves Me” to keep the child calm, according to Newman.

The woman’s husband, a professional gambler, and her stepsons were gone the night of the break-in, according to court documents. The woman heard her dog barking and got up that night, believing her husband was returning home.

When she opened a bedroom door to let the dog out, she saw three men standing there pointing guns at her wearing dark clothes, hoodies, ski masks and gloves. They pushed her to the floor and bound her feet, wrists and mouth with duct tape. One of the men beat the dog until it was limp when it kept barking.

They demanded money from her as they ransacked the house. One of them placed pillows around the child on the bed to create “an enclosure,” court documents state.

One of the men sexually assaulted the woman while guarding her as the other two men went throughout the house. Before leaving, they took a jar containing about $50 and the victim’s cell phone, and said, “We’re going another route. We’re going to find your husband.”

The ordeal lasted from an hour to hour and a half. When they left, the woman was able to free herself from the duct tape and fled to the Smyrna Police station.

A detective who went to the crime scene found clothing and the ski masks on a nearby street. Inside the home, they found pieces of duct tape, a sexual device and pillows arranged on the bed in a “border of some sort.”

They found a safe that was opened and two jewelry boxes that had been pillaged, according to court documents.

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cold case, Phounthone, Sanouvong, Von
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