Policeman's son 'confesses' in screwdriver killing

Sixteen suspects in the screwdriver-related murder are brought from Cha-am district, Phetchaburi, to the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

A police station deputy chief's son on Tuesday confessed to killing a Silpakorn University student with a screwdriver in Cha-am district, Phetchaburi, late last month as the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) took over the case and found nearly 20 suspects.

He reportedly confessed during the interrogation of 16 suspects, aged 18-27, including two women, at the CSD in Bangkok on Tuesday.

The CSD took over the case from local police as relatives and friends of the 24-year-old victim Teerapong Thitathan, a fourth-year student of Silpakorn University's Phetchaburi campus, feared impartiality as some of the suspects are related to police officers and politicians.

A source said that Dechathorn Munmanee, also known as Bright, the 21-year-old son of a deputy station chief in Kalasin, confessed to stabbing the victim's head with a screwdriver, and the motivation was a quarrel between Mr Detchathorn's group and the victim's friends over Mr Detchathorn's girlfriend, who is among the suspects.

Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, deputy national police chief, said one of the suspects confessed to using a screwdriver to kill the victim and all were charged with conspiracy in intentional murder, physical assault and illegal assembly.

He assured that all suspects would face legal action regardless of whether whom they are related to.

Apart from the 16 suspects sent to Bangkok on Tuesday, three more people were involved and one of them was a relative of a local politician, CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Suthin Sapphuang said. Police were gathering evidence for legal action against them.

The suspects attacked the dead victim and some other friends at the victim's dormitory in Cha-am at about 1.30am on Feb 25.

The dead was stabbed with a screwdriver above his right ear, a soft area through which the tool can easily reach the brain.

The victim suffered several injuries to his body but forensic doctors already confirmed the screwdriver killed him. In the same incident, two other students were severely hurt.

Police brought the suspects to court. The Criminal Court later rejected a bail request for Mr Dechathorn and released other suspects on bail of 700,000 baht each on condition that they stay away from witnesses and evidence in the case.

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