The 26-year-old man suspected of a brutal axe attack on a family of seven in Sihanoukville was charged by the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Saturday following a nine-day manhunt which culminated in his arrest on Thursday.
Investigative judge Kem Eng charged Loi Sopheak, who had previously served a five-year sentence for robbery, with premeditated murder and repeat felony offences under articles 200 and 85 of the Penal Code, and ordered Sopheak be held at the provincial prison. According to the Penal Code, Sopheak will face a life sentence if convicted.
Provincial deputy police chief Kol Phaly yesterday said that following interrogation on Saturday morning Sopheak confessed to the attack, which left two dead, and confirmed that the crime was spurred by a dispute over a chicken.
“The suspect said that he was confused about eating the chicken of the victims’ family, and then the woman, she always insulted the suspect, so it made him angry,” Phaly said, referring to the Um Phanna, 32, who was murdered along with her child in the nighttime attack.