The man convicted of throwing the grenade that killed the co-owner of the former Peace Cafe was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday.
Hin Bo, 21, fell to his mother’s feet and cried after the sentence was read, while his wife and sister consoled him, saying his jail term might be reduced.
The sentence held no satisfaction for British national David Finch, whose wife, Jeun Sokha, died in March 2001 when a piece of shrapnel from the grenade pierced the door of the cafe and struck her in the heart. “I hope he dies in prison,” Finch said.
Four other men involved in the incident received jail sentences of six to 20 months, which Municipal Court Judge Nob Sophon suspended. Hin Bo was also fined $3,000.
Hin Bo was drinking with a friend, Ham Savet, at a karaoke parlor next to the cafe when they began arguing with a group of youths. Witnesses say they saw Hin Bo threaten the youths with a grenade, which he threw toward the karaoke parlor, killing Jeun Sokha, who heard the fight and was closing her cafe’s doors when it exploded.
Following the sentencing, Hin Bo’s lawyer Nach Try called his client’s jail term “fair” and said he isn’t likely to push for an appeal. He said that although police initially questioned whether Jeun Sokha was killed by the grenade or a bullet—evidence that could have proven Hin Bo innocent—an autopsy showed she died from shrapnel wounds.
“It was hard to defend Hin Bo because all the witnesses point to him,” Nach Try said.
Hin Bo was also fined $3,000—the amount Jeun Sokha’s mother said she spent on her daughter’s funeral ceremonies.