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Police submitted their case Thursday to the prosecutor’s office against two men accused of stabbing a young man to death to steal his iPhone in northern Bangkok earlier this month.
The two suspects, 26-year-old Kittikorn Wikaha, and 25-year-old Supattanachai Chansri, are charged with several offenses, including fatal armed robbery. They face the death penalty if convicted.
“The maximum penalty for the most serious charge [against them] is execution,” Sarawut Jindakham, chief of Kok Kram Police Station, said by telephone.
Footage of the gruesome Jan. 4 murder shocked many and raised discussion about public safety.
Police said that footage showed Kittikorn stabbing his victim, 26-year-old Vasin Lueangcham, to death while his accomplice looked on from a getaway motorcycle. Kittikorn later told police he didn’t intend to kill Vasin, and that the robbery went awry only because the victim resisted.
Col. Sarawut said Kittikorn and Supattanachai are being held at Bangkok Remand Prison, their bail denied. The prosecution will schedule court dates and arrange pro bono lawyers for the two suspects if they cannot afford to do so, Sarawut said.
The killing captivated headlines and social media attention for days, not only because of its brutality, but because Kittikorn is a former convict who had served separate prison terms for drug charges. Kittikorn’s recidivism prompted some on social media to demand tougher prison terms and less chances of royal pardon for convicts.