Alleged killer in tears as gruesome details of Portland murder emerge in court

Anthony Leng was emotional throughout, wiping tears from his eyes as prosecutors detailed the case against him. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) – An alleged killer was in tears as prosecutors released gruesome new details in his partner's murder.

Anthony Leng, 40, is accused of shooting the mother of his children five times, but he claims it happened in self-defense.

Friday's bail hearing lasted more than two hours. Leng was emotional throughout, wiping tears from his eyes as prosecutors detailed the case against him.

It was Leng's first time in front of a judge since being charged with murder.

"The older son said he had heard his father threaten his mother on three different occasions, threatened to kill her," said Lisa Sweatt, a Portland Police detective who's leading the investigation.

Sweatt said Sokha Khuon, 36, was shot in the head and neck, both while standing up, and after she had fallen to the ground. According to an affidavit filed in court, the couple's 10 and 15-year-old sons fled the Dorothy Street home after the shots were fired.

According to the affidavit, the couple had been fighting; Khuon was angry at Leng for having an affair with a co-worker. The state says that was Leng's motive, but he claims he acted in self-defense when Khuon came at him with a knife.

Sweatt said there was chef's knife in victim's hand, and eight other knives scattered around her, some lying on her hair.

"He staged the crime scene to support his bogus claim of self-defense," said Assistant Attorney General, Meg Elam.

In arguing for Leng's release, Defense Attorney Peter Cyr said Leng has cooperated throughout the investigation and has no criminal record or prior arrests.

“All of his family lives here in Portland,” Cyr said. “He has significant ties here to Portland.”

Ultimately a judge ordered Leng continue to be held without bail.

Attorneys and family members declined to comment after the hearing Friday. Leng remains behind bars at the Cumberland County Jail. He is not allowed to have contact with any witnesses, including his own kids.

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