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Death penalty sought for Lop Buri gold shop shooter

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PHOTO: Prasittichai Khaokaew at the time of his arrest - Bangkok Post

Thai Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a school director who killed three people, including a two year old boy, in a gold shop robbery in Lop Buri last month. Prasittichai Khaokaew will face execution for his “horrific actions,” prosecutors say. The Thai Criminal Court was asked yesterday to try the 38 year old for premeditated murder over the armed robbery at Aurora Gold Shop in Robinson shopping centre on January 9, which also wounded four other shoppers.

Prasittichai originally claimed he robbed the shop for “some excitement,” but a source close to the investigation revealed he desperately needed money to settle gambling debts of some two million baht. Investigators say Prasittichai used a CZ P-01 gun borrowed from his father’s house, fitted with a silencer which he later threw into a river. He made off with gold worth about 635,000 baht.

Deputy Criminal Litigation Department chief Phonchai Chonwanitkun was frank in his assessment:

“We have to convince the court his confession doesn’t mean he has repented. It simply means he gave in to the weight of evidence. More importantly, his cooperation does not benefit the trial. But whether he receives harsh penalties will depend upon the court.”

The Bangkok Post reports that prosecutors studied a police report from February 11 and decided to charge Prasittichai with nine crimes, including killing a person in the commission other offences, robbery, illegal firearm possession, and firing a weapon without sound reason.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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