Man Arrested In 2006 Rape, Robbery Case In Rutherford County
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A man has been arrested in connection with a rape and robbery case from eight years ago.
Authorities in Rutherford County charged 43-year-old Phounthone Sanouvong with one count of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated rape, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.
Investigators said he was involved in the November 2006 rape and robbery of a 23-year-old Smyrna mother. Police said the woman’s 2-year-old child was on the bed at the time of the rape.
Sanouvong had been indicted years ago based on DNA testing and information from the other two men involved in the case, but he had fled the state.
Twin brothers, Elgene Porter and Eugene Porter, have already been convicted and sentenced to prison for their part in the crime.
During Elgene Porter’s 2009 trial, testimony showed neither the victim’s husband nor her two stepsons were home on the night of November 21, 2006.
Court documents revealed the robbery was allegedly perpetrated to recover a gambling debt from the woman’s husband, who was a professional gambler.
The woman testified she woke up early that morning to her dog barking, believing her husband had come home after a night of playing poker. When she opened her bedroom door to let the dog out, she encountered three men with guns who were wearing dark clothing, ski-masks, and gloves.
She said they pushed her to the floor, and then bound her feet, wrists, and mouth with duct-tape. The dog continued barking, she testified, so one of the men beat the dog until he went “limp.”
One of them placed pillows around the victim’s 2-year-old daughter on the bed in order to create “an enclosure” around her, court documents stated.
While the other two men searched the house for money, she testified she was raped by the man who was left to guard her.
Before leaving, she said the men took a jar of money containing approximately $50 and her cell phone. She told the court that the entire incident lasted about one and a half to two hours.
She was eventually able to free herself, and then took her child with her to the police station to report the crime. She was checked out at a local hospital.
Evidence gathered from the home as well as ski-masks and clothing found on a nearby street helped police identify Elgene Porter as one of the perpetrators, according to court documents.
Elgene Porter allegedly told police during an interview following his arrest that he was recruited to commit the robbery by a Laotian man named “Salon Van.” He also allegedly admitted to sexual contact with the victim, but recanted that statement at trial.
DNA from a ski-mask matched both Elgene Porter and his twin, Eugene, which led to their indictments.
Elgene Porter was sentenced to an effective sentence of 42 years in prison as a violent offender.
His brother, Eugene, pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to testify against his co-defendants and was sentenced to 8-years in prison.