A man who is alleged to have hacked a toddler to death with a machete on March 14 in Ampil Pha-em village of Ramlaing Chak commune in Kampong Speu’s Samrong Tong district was detained at the provincial prison by order of the investigating judge on March 16 following his visit to Kampong Speu Provincial Hospital to receive medical treatment for self-inflicted injuries.

Provincial deputy police chief Sam Sak told The Post that 40-year-old Eang Rado had cut his own neck using the murder weapon, but is now in stable condition after being treated by doctors.

The authorities took the suspect to Kampong Speu Provincial Court on March 15 where he was charged by the prosecutor and investigating judge Top Chhun Song, who also issued a temporary detention order that sent the suspect to the provincial prison on the same day.

“The suspect is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated violence under Article 202 and Article 218 of the Criminal Code,” he said.

The defendant could be sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison if the court finds him guilty under Article 202, with an additional two to five years punishment possible if convicted under Article 218, along with a four to ten million riel fine.

The charges stem from an incident on March 14, with witnesses claiming that the suspect used a machete to hack a 1-year-old boy to death by striking him in the head and neck. The child died near-instantly at the scene from his injuries.

The victim’s mother is a 30-year-old garment worker who lives in Ampil Pha-em village of Ramlaing Chak commune.

After killing the child, the man fled the scene and returned to his home where he attempted to cut his own throat with the same machete. He was rushed to Kampong Speu Provincial Hospital for treatment by the arresting officers.

According to the suspect’s wife Pin Kim, her husband used to work as a hearse driver, but he had been suffering from mental illness for many years.

Both doctors and traditional healers attempted to treat his condition, but he showed no improvement afterwards, Kim said.

Kim also said that the traditional healer had claimed that her husband was possessed by ghosts due to his former employment as a hearse driver.