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Taxi bike driver asks for death penalty after murder of pregnant stepdaughter



by Supachai Phetchthewee 

A 57 year old motorcycle taxi driver has admitted to beating his seven-month pregnant stepdaughter to death out of jealousy. He told police he killed her at her home in Bangkok on April 11 and is asking the court to give him the death penalty for his crime.

Phumjai Leungthong, who then allegedly tried to commit suicide on April 13 in a wooded area in Bang Kapi district by taking poison, was rescued in time. He reportedly told police he killed the 29 year old Nanchaya Chanthamokha, whom his wife loved the most, out of anger and jealousy when his wife abandoned him and went to Amnat Charoen province.

“I feel remorse for what I did. I was so angry because I love her mother so much and I forgot that the stepdaughter was pregnant. I believe nothing I say would change the minds of the victim’s relatives so I want to apologise for what I did. I want the court to give me a death sentence.”

“If one life can trade two lives, I will accept that.”

Following his arrest, Phumjai reportedly confessed that he had fatally hit the young woman on the head and the torso with a hammer until the hammer head dislodged.

Phumjai was charged with murder by using torture or acts of cruelty under the Criminal Code’s Section 289, which is punishable with a death penalty.

Yesterday morning, police tried to conduct a crime simulation at the Kannayao Police Station – instead of the crime re-enactment at the actual scene as that could bring greater risk to the suspect.

However, they had to call off the simulation after Nanchaya’s relatives showed up and shouted angrily at him, posing a danger of assault to the suspect, Kannayao superintendent Pol Colonel Sing Singhadech said.

Phumjai did a “wai” in apology to the deceased victim’s husband, 29 year old Thanawat Kaewkhamsorn, who was among the crowd at the police station.

“Why did you kill her?”, he shouted and tried to punch Phumjai through the cell bars.

Phumjai, who is on a close watch for suicide, will be brought to the Min Buri Court on April 15 to apply for the first 12-day detention period.

SOURCE: The Nation


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