Man Says He Strangled Girlfriend Over Jealousy

A man charged with premeditated murder after allegedly strangling his girlfriend to death at a Phnom Penh guesthouse in October said yesterday that he had simply gone too far after flying into a jealous rage.

Chan Sopheak, a 38-year-old former convict, was arrested a few days after the body of 22-year-old karaoke worker Ang Vanna was found at the O’Yes Guesthouse in Daun Penh district.

He described the murder as an accident during his trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday but also admitted that he had threatened his lover. “I told her…. ‘If you betray me, I will kill you,’” he said. “She chatted with a guy in front of me, and I got angry. I covered her mouth and strangled her neck.”

Presiding Judge Kor Vandy said the motive was greed, not jealousy. “[You] killed her and took her jewelry, and then you gave the excuse that she had a new guy,” he said.

At the time of his arrest, a police official said Mr. Sopheak—who is currently being held in provisional detention—had previously served prison time for theft. A verdict is due on March 28. 

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