Man Kills Housemate With Machete Over Cigarette Purchase

A farmer previously convicted of murder was arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Tuesday for hacking his partner’s neck with a machete and killing her godfather.

The three had been living together in the province’s Prey Nop district, farming rice in the rainy season and picking jungle fruit the rest of the year, according to Yem Phorn, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau.

On Sunday, Ouk Van Tha, 66, godfather of Oeun Sokha, 32, asked the murder suspect, Prum Kin, 56, to buy him tobacco, Mr. Phorn said.

The suspect bought cigarettes instead, even though “the victim did not smoke cigarettes,” and a quarrel ensued, he said.

Mr. Kin slashed Ouk Van Tha on the neck with a machete, nearly decapitating him, before dealing a parting slice to Ms. Sokha as he fled the house, said Him Sovannary, the Samrung commune police chief.

Mr. Kin was being held at the provincial police station on Tuesday awaiting further questioning, while Ms. Sokha was hospitalized in critical condition.

Mr. Kin had previously served 11 years in prison for murder.

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