- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A Fort Smith man has been found not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 death of a woman described as his friend and co-worker.

The Times Record reports (http://bit.ly/1ADjOIZ ) that a Sebastian County jury deliberated about 3½ hours Thursday before acquitting 60-year-old Kevyphonh Sounyaphong (KEVY’-faun SON’-eye-uh-fong) in the death of 50-year-old Sakounsouk Vilayhong (SOCK’-un-suk VIL’-a-hong).

The woman was found strangled in her home on Jan. 24, 2013. Defense attorneys argued that there was no evidence that Sounyaphong killed the woman and that she either committed suicide or was killed by someone else.

Prosecutors contended Sounyaphong killed the woman for money she had won earlier that day at an Oklahoma casino.

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Information from: Southwest Times Record, http://www.swtimes.com/

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