Temple tragedy: Drug-addict murders elderly monk in Isaan province

Photo via ThaiRath

A drug addict murdered a 71 year old Buddhist monk at a temple in the Isaan province of Udon Thani. The murderer allegedly said he felt no remorse for his actions because he acted in self-defence.

Officers from Kumphawapi Police Station arrested the murderer, 34 year old Wuttichai Mongkhonsaen, for the murder of the 71 year old monk named Dao Kotewongthong.

According to the police, Wuttichai beat the monk with a wooden stick at Si Tart Temple on Wednesday, June 21. The monk sustained a broken left arm and suffered a severe head wound. The monk was rushed to a hospital and later succumbed to his injuries that night.

Wuttichai was arrested yesterday at his house and tested positive for drugs. Wuttichai allegedly admitted to his criminal action but said that he did not feel sorry for the death of the monk. He said the attack was self-defence because the monk attempted to harm him.

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According to Wuttichai’s confession, he went to the temple to steal the bamboo shoots which were grown by the dead monk. He went to pick four bamboo shoots to sell to his neighbours for 30 baht so he could buy some Yaba (methamphetamine) pills but the monk stopped him. This made him angry so hit the monk with a wooden stick twice, once to the arm and head. Wuttichai expressed his anger that the monk let other locals take the bamboo but stopped him.

Wuttichai also admitted that he took two Yaba tablets before murdering the monk.

The monk’s son, Thongsook Kotewongthong, expressed his anger against the murderer. He said…

“My father was elderly, and you took the life of an elderly person. Do you have a heart? You are not human. You are a beast. I would never forgive you. I believe that even a bad person still has a consciousness that children, elderly people, women, and especially monks are the exception.”

Thongsook added that his father was kind and in monkhood for over 20 years. He further revealed his disappointment at Chaiwut’s family, who had neither visited nor offered an apology. He insisted on pursuing the legal process against the perpetrator to its fullest extent.

Wuttichai is facing two charges for causing physical harm to another person resulting in the death of that person which will result in imprisonment from three to 15 years according to Section 290 of the Criminal Law. He was also charged with using a drug from the drug category 1. The penalty will be imprisonment from four years to life imprisonment, a fine from 80,00 to 5 million baht, or both.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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