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Killer on trial over second murder

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Murder suspect Chum Vireak is already serving time for killing his teenage cousin. Supplied

A 22-year-old man went on trial yesterday over the murder of his 24-year-old friend, who was killed following a drunken argument in 2014.

The murder took place in Dangkor district’s Prey Sar commune on April 16, 2014.

Judge Duch Soksarin identified the accused as Chum Vireak, 22, a garment factory worker.

Mr Vireak was charged with “intentional murder” and faces 10 to 15 years in jail if convicted over the murder of Prich Pesith, a fellow garment worker living in Dangkor district’s Prey Sar commune.

Mr Pesith’s body was discovered floating in a body of water on April 17, 2014.

Judge Soksarin said on the night of the murder, the accused and the victim drank beers together at a beer garden in Dangkor district.

While drinking, the suspect and the victim allegedly got into a verbal argument, after which the victim left the beer garden, the judge said.

The accused was said to have left soon after and chased the victim, forcing him to pull over and resolve the argument.

He allegedly took a big piece of timber and beat the victim on the head and neck, killing him on the side of the road in Taboh village.

“After killing the victim, the accused dragged his body and his motorbike and threw them into a nearby dam to confuse police and villagers into thinking it was a traffic accident,” the judge added.

Mr Vireak was later arrested on May 10, 2016, after he killed his cousin Vun Ratha, 19, to steal her motorbike and phone.

Mr Vireak has already received a life sentence for murdering his cousin.

At yesterday’s trial, Mr Vireak denied that he also killed his friend in 2014.

“I confess that I had a verbal argument with the victim that night,” he said. “But I did not kill him; he died because he crashed his motorbike while driving drunk.”

A verdict is due October 13.

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