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Soukhamthath sentenced for multiple crimes

WORTHINGTON -- He allegedly committed a multitude of crimes over a nine month period, eventually being charged in three different cases with 11 felonies, a gross misdemeanor and nine misdemeanors.

Khamsone Joe Soukhamthath, 22, of Worthington, who has been showing up in Judge Jeffrey Flynn's courtroom since 2001, the judge announced, made a Monday afternoon appearance in Nobles County District Court.

Soukhamthath had entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution last month, pleading guilty to two counts of third-degree burglary, felony domestic assault and two misdemeanors, aiding and abetting theft and giving a false name to a peace officer.

The remainder of the charges against him were dismissed.

The state had agreed to sentencing in the midpoint of the guidelines, but because one of Soukhamthath's probation periods ended during the process of court hearings, his criminal history score ended up being one point less than expected.

In the end, Soukhamthath was sentenced to 21 months in prison, but the execution of that sentence was stayed on the condition he serve 365 days in jail.

"You slid right under that one, didn't you?" Flynn asked Soukhamthath in regard to the custody status point dropping.

"Yes, I did, your honor," Soukhamthath replied.

Nobles Count Assistant Attorney Kimberly Pehrson pointed out that Soukhamthath had committed three felony-level crimes within a short period of time -- two of them while on probation for committing fifth-degree assault.

"He's apparently not amenable to being on probation," she added.

Defense attorney Terry Vajgrt asked that Soukhamthath be allowed to go on work release, which Flynn seemed to find amazing.

"Work release? Where have you gotten a job?" he asked.

Soukhamthath said he had worked for several months at a construction company in Sioux Falls, S.D., before his arrest.

"Your employment career spans nine and a half months and includes four different jobs," Flynn retorted, looking through the pre-sentence recommendations.

"If you agree to the recommendations, I plan on making good use of it," Soukhamthath stated. "I'll use the opportunity to build myself up and have more steady work habits. ... I'm a drug addict. I need a second chance."

"Second? You're on about your 18th chance," Flynn replied, adding that Soukhamthath needed to take a class in learning how to be a responsible person.

Soukhamthath was sentenced to 15 months, 21 months and 21 months for the felonies, all of which are stayed on the condition he serve 365 days in jail, with credit for 120 days served.

He was also sentenced to 90 days in jail for each misdemeanor, both of which will be served concurrently with the jail sentence.

He was also given five years of probation, ordered to undergo a chemical use assessment and told to abstain from drugs and alcohol.