Brickmaker, 19, Charged With Murder, Jailed

The Kratie Provincial Court on Tuesday charged a teenage brickmaker with murder for breaking the neck of his coworker on Saturday when she thwarted his attempt to rape her, court and police officials said.

Chet Chanrith, 19, approached Som Chenda, 23, while she was walking to a DVD shop in Chet Borei district on Saturday evening and attempted to rape her, according to police.

When she fought him off, he knocked her unconscious and used an iron rod to crush her neck, then tossed her body in a nearby pond, where she was found the next morning, they said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Chanrith was charged with murder and sent to prison to await trial, said provincial court director Din Sivuthy.

“The court charged the suspect with murder,” he said, adding that charges of attempted rape could still be brought against the brickmaker at a later date.

Sreu Chealy, a deputy district police chief who interviewed Mr. Chanrith after his arrest, said the suspect admitted to harboring romantic feelings for the victim.

“The suspect attempted to rape her because he was in love with her,” he said.

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