Axing for trouble in Nothanburi
Who put the axe in the dead man's hand?
The family of a man killed by his neighbour over a parking dispute in Nonthaburi believes the murder scene was staged. Veera Prasitthong, 54 years old, was killed in his neighbour’s shop in Pak Kret last week.
Veera was home when he found his path blocked by neighbour Visit Chanakul, who had parked outside his shop to unload some goods.
A CCTV camera opposite captures the moment as he stops and the pair exchange words. the 65 year old said he would move his vehicle as soon as he finished, but Veera was seething. While road rage incidents and resultant deaths are not unusual in Thailand, it is quite strange if both cars appear to be parked at the time.
An hour later, the camera shows him returning, parking outside and marching into his neighbour’s shop, clearly looking for trouble.
Thereupon Visit picked up a .38 and shot Veera in the chest, killing him.
The CCTV camera captures the moment in which the three shots ring out and passers-by run for cover. When police arrived, they found Veera flat on his back, with an axe in his hand.
Visit, who has been charged with murder with intent, said he saw the axe and shot Veera in self-defence.
The victim’s family tells a very different tale. They say Veera had no such axe, and claim Visit’s family planted it on him after the killing.
Visit’s daughter, 29 year old Kwanruethai Chanakul, said Veera was carrying the axe when he entered the store, but there is no axe on CCTV.
The men, both traders, had never had a problem together before, she said.
The victim’s son, Monchai Kingchum, said the killing looked staged and urged police to investigate. He said Visit’s reaction was extreme and two men their age should be capable of talking civilly over a parking dispute. He said…
“I have never seen that axe before, but a witness told me he had once seen the suspect use the axe to chop up ice in his shop.”
Celebrity lawyer Ronnarong Kaewpetch has waded in to the murder scene on the victim’s behalf.
Ronnarong, who attended the funeral, said Veera was a former client.
He agrees the murder scene looked staged as the victim, despite being shot twice, was still carrying the axe, which normally would be dislodged by the force of the blasts.
A close look at the CCTV suggests the victim was empty-handed when he walked in and may not have threatened the suspect at all. Veera’s hands are obscured as he enters, but they appear to be bearing no weight.
Deputy head of investigations at Pak Kret station, Pol Capt Assarawut Naka, said he was aware of the family’s concerns over the murder scene.
He said the police were awaiting forensic results on the axe.
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