Former Monk Sentenced to Life for Killings

A former monk with a history of mental instability was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for the July 8 slayings of three of his cousins, aged 4 to 10, and their 45-year-old maid.

Sann Meng, 23, was found guilty by Phnom Penh Municipal Court of breaking the neck of Mao Coman, 10, and cutting the throats of Mao Coma, 4, Mao Comak, 8, and their maid, Horn, in Russei Keo district’s Tuk Thla com­mune.

“What made you kill them?” Presiding Judge Kong Seth asked the accused. To which Sann Meng replied: “I didn’t like the servant [Horn].”

According to Russei Keo Police Chief Ly Lay, Horn had replaced a servant named Pha, with whom Sann Meng had fallen in love.

Sann Meng admitted in court that he killed the three children and wounded their mother and 12-year-old sister, in an attempt to conceal the killing of the servant. However, Sann Meng said he didn’t intend to kill the victims but had visited the house and got involved in a dispute with Horn about the reason Pha was fired.

Police, however, said Sann Meng had watched the house for a few days, waiting for an opportunity to kill Horn. He was arrested about 20 minutes after the attacks.

Sann Meng was a monk for six years in Kompong Cham pro­vince before becoming a mechanic in Phnom Penh. He had a history of drug abuse and mental illness, said Tuk Thla commune Chief Tann Naven.


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