Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kandal teen gets 20 years for murder of 9-year-old

Kandal teen gets 20 years for murder of 9-year-old

Oeurn Sopheap re-enacts the murder of Keat Seavly during a police investigation. Photo supplied
Oeurn Sopheap re-enacts the murder of Keat Seavly during a police investigation. Photo supplied

Kandal teen gets 20 years for murder of 9-year-old

The Kandal Provincial Court yesterday sentenced a 16-year-old girl to 20 years in prison for the murder of her 9-year-old neighbour in Ang Snuol district.

Oeurn Sopheap was charged on November 9 last year with the murder of Keat Seavly, whose body had been discovered a few days before drowned in a rice field close to her home in Tomloup Kpos Cheung village.

Sopheap was accused of stealing Seavly’s gold earrings and a platinum ring, which Sopheap sold at a nearby market for $28.

Initially, after Seavly was reported missing, Sopheap had even helped authorities in their search. Once the young girl was found dead the following day, however, she hid in a field, only to be found and arrested later that night.

Court spokesman Ek Sun Reaksmey said: “According to her actions she would have been sentenced to life in prison, but as she was underage, it was reduced to 20 years.”

At the time, residents of Tomloup Kpos Cheung, the village where Seavly and Sopheap grew up, were shocked by the murder.

“She never stole or committed crime,” village chief Yong Sieng said in November.

“I think the crime is generally because of drugs or alcohol that leads to violence, but the murder case in my village had nothing to do with that.”

Child Protection Unit (CPU) director James McCabe, who assisted during the investigation of Seavly’s death, said yesterday that such cases were “even harder to comprehend when the offender is a child themselves”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment