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UPDATE: 35-year prison sentences for Pao Vue, Kong Vue

By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email
By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email

LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- Monday afternoon in La Crosse, the judge sentenced Pao Choua Vue to 35 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision. Kong Vue was sentenced to 35 years in prison and 20 years of extended supervision.

Kong Vue and Pao Choua Vue of La Crosse are accused of murdering 20 year old Sara Hougom. The two were supposedly high on meth and looking for money when Kong Vue entered in Hougom's apartment trying to steal her purse, on March 26th of this year.

Kong told police he shot Sara twice with a .22 caliber pistol after being frightened by her and then fled the scene leaving her to die.

Before the sentencing more than 20 people gave statements about Sara, ranging from memories to details of the pain of living without her.

"She was a wonderful and beautiful person and she was my best friend," said Sara's roommate, Holly Germain.

"She was kind, sweet, carefree, stunning, and the definition of a best friend. She was supposed to be here to watch me get married and be here when I give birth to my little girl," said best friend, Paige Roth-Smith.

"Losing my girlfriend Sara has been the hardest part of my life" said Sara's boyfriend Scott Hogan. "Every day I wake up and think about Sara and feel the physical pain of emptiness."

Sara's mother and father also shared their memories and feelings in front of the courtroom.

"I can't imagine what an animal would shoot a defenseless women lying on her couch," said Sara's father Michael Hougom in a rage. "A parent should never have to go through this."

"At 6:45 pm they pronounced my baby dead. They let me then touch her and hold her. I just put my face down near hers and told her she is going to be okay, that she wasn't gone, that it wasn't true," said Sara's mother Sherry Hougom.

Even the police officer, who was first on the scene and had to give Sara CPR until the ambulance came spoke on behalf of the family.

"She turned towards me and looked me straight in my eyes. I just squeezed her hand and told her to hold on, to breathe and I promised her I wasn't going to leave her."

Both Kong Vue and Pao Choua Vue apologized to the family before they were sentenced. Pao Choua Vue added to his apology that he believed he had brought shame upon his family and people, and hoped to reflect on what he had done while in prison.


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