Guilty Plea in Hougom Shooting - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Guilty Plea in Hougom Shooting

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UPDATE: LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Pao Choua Vue, one of the two men accused in the shooting of a La Crosse woman in March, pleads guilty to first degree reckless homicide as a party to the crime.

Vue was initially charged with first degree intentional homicide as party to a crime. The charge was reduced as part of the plea.

20-year-old Hougom was killed in her apartment on March 26. Police say Vue and his nephew Kong Vue stopped to steal a purse from Hougom's residence.

In court Vue admitted to being at the scene, though he says he remained in the car during the shooting. Vue says it was Kong who entered Hougom's apartment and shot her.

"All I remember is stopping the vehicle, I didn't hear anything go on, the windows were rolled up. All I remember is seeing him run back to the car and telling me to drive away as fast as I can," Vue said in court.

After Vue entered his plea, Rev. Ellen Rasmussen spoke on behalf of the Hougom family. She says the family is relieved they will not have to sit through a trial, but she adds today is just a small step of the process.

"The healing process is still going to be an incredible journey, and I think the sentencing is going to have a greater impact," Rasmussen said. "But, they are able to begin to move, but still carry a lot of weight until the sentencing date."

Pao Choua Vue also admitted to being present at a drive by shooting that occurred about 15 minutes before Hougom was shot. No one was injured in that incident and the charges were dropped in exchange for Vue's guilty plea.

Vue now faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and 20 years extended supervision. The prosecutor indicated in court she believes Kong Vue will also take a plea in this case. Sentencing for both men is set for October 10.

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Pao Choua Vue, one of the two men accused in the shooting of a La Crosse woman in March, pleads guilty to first degree reckless homicide as a party to the crime.

In court on Wednesday, the 21-year-old Vue admitted being in the car while 20-year-old Sara Hougom was shot in her apartment March 26th. Vue said it was his nephew Kong Vue who went into the apartment to steal a purse.  Instead, according to the criminal complaint, Vue fired several shots towards Hougom when she surprised him and he was fleeing the apartment.

Hougom was able to call 9-1-1 for help, but later died of her wounds.

In exchange for the plea, the other charges against Vue were dropped.

He was supposed to go to trial on the original charges on August 20th.

Vue is scheduled to be sentenced on October 10.

Kristen Barbaresi was in court for the hearing today.  She'll have reaction from a family spokesperson tonight on Live at Five.

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