Farmer Smashes 2-Month-Old Son to Death in Drunken Rage

A young farmer was arrested in Tbong Khmum province on Tuesday night after beating his 2-month-old son to death during an alcohol-fueled argument with his girlfriend—the infant’s mother—earlier in the evening, officials said.

Auk Channa, a 20-year-old cassava farmer, had spent the afternoon drinking with friends outside his house in Memot district’s Romchek commmune, and began quarreling with his longtime girlfriend, 18-year-old Chan Nary, at about 7:30 p.m. after she berated him for being a slothful drunk, said deputy district police chief Chan Doul.

At some point during the argument, Mr. Channa accused his girlfriend of sleeping with another man and falsely claimed not to be the father of their newborn son, then grabbed the baby from her and smashed it twice against the floor, Mr. Doul said, citing Ms. Nary’s account of the incident.

“The suspect killed his baby because he had drunk too much and was jealous that his girlfriend had been with another man,” he said.

The farmer then hid in the forest behind his house, returning about 30 minutes later when relatives and neighbors arrived, according to Mr. Doul.

“He felt pity for his son when he heard the crying of his relatives, so he came back to see what was going on,” he said, adding that the relatives detained Mr. Channa at his house until district police arrived to arrest him at about 8:30 p.m.

“He confessed to killing his baby in anger after we questioned him yesterday morning,” Mr. Doul said.

Commune chief Prum Choeun said Mr. Channa was well known in the community for his heavy drinking and combative manner.

“The suspect was always drunk and never helped his girlfriend to care for the baby,” Mr. Choeun said, adding that Mr. Channa’s parents came to him several months ago to complain about their son’s behavior, but that he took no action because no crime had been committed.

Mr. Doul said Mr. Channa was being held at the district police station and would be sent to the provincial court this week.

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