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Man charged over murdering family

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Police caught the man as he tried to flee the country to Thailand. DAP News

A man accused of killing his pregnant wife and her two sons with a machete last week in Tbong Khmum province has been jailed on murder charges after police arrested him when he tried to flee to Thailand.

Major Sath Seng, a provincial police officer with the criminal investigations department, said that Chraing To, 48, was arrested on Thursday in Oddar Meanchey province as he tried to flee the country.

“He was arrested by our provincial penal police in collaboration with police in Oddar Meanchey province while he attempted to escape to hide in Thailand,” Maj Seng said.

“After his arrest, he was transferred from Oddar Meanchey province back to Tbong Khmum province,” he added.

Maj Seng said the accused was charged with premeditated murder yesterday by Tbong Khmum Provincial Court and faces a life sentence if convicted. He has been jailed pending his trial, he added.

A month before the murders, the suspect and victim had an argument that led to a violent beating in which the sons intervened to rescue their mother, according to police.

During the argument, the two sons fought their father-in-law as he beat their mother, police said

After the incident, the victim asked for a divorce and expelled the suspect from their home.

Police said the accused then returned to the home and killed his family in Tbong Khmum district on April 1 at about 1.30am.

Captain Seng Chamroeun, deputy commander of Tbong Khmum district military police, identified the victims as 42-year-old Kheang Soklean, who was two months pregnant, and her two sons, Thoeun Vannak, 17, and Thoeun Theary, 11.

Cap Chamroeun said that Mr To is accused of killing all three victims with a machete before fleeing the scene.

According to a military police report, the suspect, a widower, married the victim, also a widower, last year.

While living with each other, they often argued with each other because the husband was a jealous man, the report said.

The report said the suspect accused his wife of having an affair with another man in their village, a claim she denied.

On April 1 at about 1.30 am, the suspect entered the victim’s house while they were sleeping and killed them by chopping them with a machete before stealing property and fleeing the scene, the report said.

“The suspect entered the house while they were sleeping,” Cap Chamroeun said. “First, the suspect killed his pregnant wife by chopping her many times on her head and neck, killing her immediately.”

“After killing the wife, he killed her two sons by chopping their faces, head and necks. After killing them, he stole about $10,000 and fled,” he added.

Cap Chamroeun said the bodies of the three victims were later found Sunday afternoon by a relative who came to visit them at their home in Thmar Pich commune. The relative then notified police.

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