Police: 'Jakkrit murder case closed'

Police have arrested the last suspect in connection with the killing of former national sports shooter Jakkrit Panichpatikum in October last year.

Police apprehended Thawatchai Phetchot, 33, who was accused of riding a motorcycle for the gunman who killed Jakkrit, in Songkhla’s Chana district on Sunday. He was brought to Bangkok for a police press briefing late in the evening.  

Mr Thawatchai allegedly confessed that he and gunman Jirasak Klinkhlai, 33, had been hired by Santi Thongsem, a lawyer, 28, to kill Jakkrit for 200,000 baht each. He said Mr Santi worked as the spotter on the day Jakkrit was shot.  

After Jakkrit’s death, he went into hiding at a hotel in Chachoengsao and later took a train from Phetchaburi to Songkhla, where he had been staying for the past six months. He was working as a driver before his arrest. 

He faces charges of pre-meditated murder and illegal possession of firearms. 

Deputy national police chief Aek Angsananont said all previously arrested suspects are currently being tried in court and the investigation has been closed.   

Jakkrit was gunned down on the night of Oct 19 by a motorcycle pillion rider while driving his black Porsche Boxster near Ramkhamhaeng Soi 166 in Min Buri district.

Dr Nitiwadee Pucharoenyos, Jakkrit's wife, 28, and her 72-year-old mother Surang Duangchinda were charged with conspiracy to hire hitman to kill. 

Mrs Surang told police she hired Voraphanpuree Montri-areekul, 46, an employee of a securities firm who is a client of Mr Santi, to recruit a team of gunmen to kill Jakkrit, whom she accused of physically abusing her daughter. 

Mrs Surang confessed to ordering the killing of Jakkrit to protect her daughter. Dr Nitiwadee denied knowing of her mother's plot to kill Jakkrit, but police did not believe her.

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