Despite his age, defendant Phanhsay ‘Kapoo’ Phanivong was entitled to the transfer hearing normally reserved for juveniles charged with serious crimes because he was 16 at the time of the crime.
Phanivong is charged with first-degree felony murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old college student Angela Perkins who was killed in the early-morning hours of Feb. 14, 1994, near Mendehall and Spottswood in East Memphis.
Earlier this year, a man serving prison time in Texas for an unrelated homicide told Memphis cold-case police detectives that Phanivong was responsible for Perkins’ death.
The man, Ngoc “Ice” Huynh, 41, testified Wednesday that Phanivong told him shortly after the killing that he had shot the young woman during a robbery attempt in 1994.
Huynh initially told authorities he with Phanivong and two other men when they approached Perkins, but later said he lied about his involvement to increase his chances of obtaining a reward for his family.
Another man, Sathit “Tee” Ep, now 36, also is charged with felony murder in the case. He is free on $25,000 bond.
The cases against Phanivong and Ep now are pending action of a grand jury.
Huynh, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence, has not been charged in the Perkins’ homicide.
Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael, who presided in Wednesday’s hearing, ordered Phanivong to be held without bond.
The case is being handled by Ray Lepone, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit, and by DA administrative assistant Thomas Henderson.