The man arrested over the brutal murder of a 29-year-old woman, who was dismembered and put into an ice box last week, was charged by Kandal Provincial Court yesterday and sent to be temporarily detained in prison pending his trial.
Soeun Sopheng, 31, was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district on Sunday over the murder of Khoeun Theany, whose body was found in an ice box along the side of a street in Kandal province on Friday.
The suspect’s wife and another suspect, who had initially been accused of receiving stolen goods, were released after the investigating judge found they were not involved in the murder.
Sok Savoeun, a clerk at the provincial court, said Mr Sopheng was charged with premeditated murder and faces a life sentence if convicted.
“He has now been sent by the investigating judge to prison pending his trial,” he said.
He added that two other suspects – the suspect’s wife Yuth Sreydy, 27, and Sok Heng, 48, the owner of a pawnshop – were released as they neither knew nor were involved with the suspect’s activities.
Major General Eav Chamroeun, police chief of Kandal province, said the suspect was arrested on Sunday by his police officers who collaborated with police in Phnom Penh.
He added that after his arrest, police confiscated a stolen Zoomer X motorbike and an iPhone 6 from him.
According to a police report, the suspect admitted to the crime during his interrogation at the provincial police station.
He said he had known the victim for three years and confessed to killing her because he wanted to steal her property.
The suspect said he had lost money gambling on football and owed other people a total of $2,000 – which he did not have – so he then prepared a plot to kill the victim.
He said that on the day of the murder, he planted electrical wires in the victim’s bathroom in order to electrocute her.
After she was knocked unconscious, the suspect took a pestle to hit her face and head, and then used a meat cleaver to chop the victim on her face and body until she was dead. He then stole her Zoomer X motorbike, her iPhone 6 and some jewellery.
He gave the iPhone to his wife and pawned the victim’s motorbike at a pawnshop in Tuol Kork district owned by Mr Sok Heng.
He then went to retrieve his own motorbike from another pawnshop and purchased a big ice box from Toek Thla market before going back to the victim’s room to discard of her body.
The suspect moved her body from the bathroom into the ice box and brought it by motorbike to Kandal province’s Khsach Kandal district, where he dropped it near the road and fled.