Siem Reap Provincial Court yesterday charged and jailed a farmer who allegedly bludgeoned his wife to death with a large wooden pounder in Svay Loek district on Saturday.
Colonel Sun Eng, district police chief, identified the accused as Oeun Mao, 48, a farmer living in Kantuot commune and the victim as Duong Savai, 34.
He said that the accused was charged with intentional murder and faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.
Colonel Eng noted that Mr Mao was arrested on Monday and is now in prison pending trial.
He said the murder took place at about 8pm on Saturday at the couple’s home in the commune’s Khnar Krau village.
Second Lieutenant Phoeun Mab, district police chief of staff, said that Mr Mao and Ms Savai, who had three sons, liked to drink rice wine and had frequent drunken arguments.
He said that the sons, who were over 15 years old, normally went to work at their rice field with their mother.
Sec Lt Mab said that on the day of the murder, the accused returned home after a drinking bout with friends and found that his wife was at home but not the boys.
He said Mr Mao questioned Ms Savai about the sons’ whereabouts but she was drunk on rice wine and did not reply.
Sec Lt Mab said the accused asked his wife to bring him his dinner and found that she had not cooked it. He then became angry and both got into an argument.
“According to police investigations, during the argument the accused started punching and kicking her, causing her serious injuries on the face, head and nose,” he said. “After punching and kicking her, he took a large wooden pounder from the dining room and hit her several times on her neck and killed her.”
Sec Lt Mab noted that after killing his wife Mr Mao fled the house to hide in the nearby forest.
He noted that neighbours had heard the couple arguing but did not intervene because they always fought after getting drunk.
Sec Lt Mab said that one of the sons, who stayed overnight at the rice field with his brothers, returned home at about 7am on Sunday and found his mother’s body.
He said the boy alerted neighbours who reported the killing to commune police.
Sec Lt Mab said that following a search, Mr Mao was arrested in the forest at about 12pm on Monday.