Man sentenced in 2019 killing of cousin in kitchen of Independence restaurant

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 27-year-old Lee’s Summit man was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for the deadly shooting of a woman in November 2019 inside an Independence Thai restaurant.

Porntrep Phonjaroen pleaded guilty in May to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 23-year-old Wasinee Sankra, his cousin.

According to court records, on Nov. 16, 2019, Phonjaroen shot and killed Sankr while working at the restaurant located on E. Valley View Parkway in Independence.

Police found the victim on the kitchen floor of the restaurant. A restaurant customer told police a man inside the business had shot her. He was taken into custody and later identified as Phonjaroen.

Police recovered a shell casing inside the kitchen near the victim. A handgun was located in the woods behind the business.

Phonjaroen, speaking through an interpreter, admitted to shooting the victim, which was also captured on store video. He told police the victim was his cousin and he was upset with her work habits. 

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