Three young men suspected of murdering their imperious brother-in-law with a homemade air rifle were found hiding in scrub near their village in Kompong Thom province and arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning, police said.
The three—all married to sisters of the dead man, Chhorn Vouch, 26—confessed to plotting the murder and carrying it out by sticking the barrel of the gun through a hole in the wall of a timber home in Sandan district and firing two shots into the side of their target’s chest, according to provincial police chief Chou Sam On.
“This is a case of the brothers-in-law taking revenge,” he said, explaining that Chhorn Vouch had for years been reprimanding the men who married his younger sisters over their excessive drinking and revelry.
“He used to advise and educate them very often, and it caused them to become angry and take their revenge,” he said.
Mr. Sam On said the three men were found hiding under dried leaves in the brush not far from the murder scene at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday and that they quickly admitted to their crime, offering up as justification a series of occasions when they had been belittled by their shared brother-in-law.
Min Bien, 25, confessed to pulling the trigger of the air rifle, which fires ball bearings, according to the police chief. The victim had been sitting inside Min Bien’s father’s home in Chhoeuteal commune, a meeting place for the extended family, which lived in multiple houses nearby.
Kheng Sophat, 26, and Khat Lan, 21, confessed to being accomplices to the murder. The three were detained at the provincial police station on Wednesday and were scheduled to face the provincial court today.
Local news reported on Wednesday that Chhorn Vouch was murdered by the three after he slapped one of his sisters. But the police chief said those reports were false and that the victim was a virtuous man who had impressed his values on the rebellious trio one time too many.