SALT LAKE CITY — A West Jordan man was charged with murder Tuesday, more than 25 years after an alleged fatal stabbing.
Viengkeo K. Sundara, 48, is charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder in the stabbing death of 26-year-old Youthaloth Oudanonh on May 19, 1991.
Sundara is the third man to be charged this year in the case. Roosevelt man Hoomphanh Vanvilay, 44, was charged in January and pleaded guilty last month to a reduced second-degree felony manslaughter charge in connection with Oudanonh's death.
Vanvilay is scheduled to be sentenced July 29 and prosecutors are expected to recommend a jail term rather than prison. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to testify in the upcoming case of Vienphet Sundara, 47, who pleaded not guilty Friday to first-degree felony murder. Vienphet Sundara was also charged in the case in January.
Salt Lake police said in January that Viengkeo Sundara was considered a person of interest in the case.
Oudanonh was stabbed in the back, shoulder and neck multiple times while attending a dance at 120 W. 1300 South on the day he was murdered in 1991, according to police. Court documents say an officer on security duty at the dance saw Oudanonh stumbling and bleeding heavily.
Oudanonh later died at a local hospital. About two weeks before the stabbing, he was in a confrontation with one of the men suspected of later killing him, police have said.
An autopsy on Oudanonh found he died due to a sharp force injury to the neck, court documents say.
DNA technology breakthroughs, which enabled investigators to identify the blood examined in the investigation as that of Oudanonh, gave prosecutors enough evidence to pursue charges 25 years later, according to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
The three defendants' attendance at the dance was verified soon after the killing, according to court documents. Vienphet Sundara and Vanvilay were both found with blood on their clothing, and a bloody knife was found in a vehicle they had used, charges allege. Viengkeo had "what appeared to be blood" on his shoes, charges state.
All three men were arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail soon after the incident but were released due to lack of evidence.
Vanvilay reported to investigators that Viengkeo Sundara told him "grab him" and that the two of them each grabbed one of Oudanonh's arms. Vanvilay also told police Vienphet Sundara proceeded to pull out a knife and stab Oudanonh.
A warrant for Viengkeo Sundara's arrest was issued Tuesday. Jail records show he was out of police custody as of Tuesday night.
Court records show Viengkeo Sundara’s criminal history in Utah since Oudanonh’s stabbing death consists almost entirely of traffic offenses, including more than a dozen convictions for driving on a denied, revoked or suspended license. He was charged in 2001 with felony forgery and giving false personal information to police with the intent to be another actual person. That case was dismissed later the same year. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in 1990.