Banteay Meanchey province officials have charged a 38-year-old cattle dealer with murder in absentia for the shooting death of a Thai woman who owed him money, a judge said Thursday.
Sout Sa Veoun, of Thma Puok district, has been hospitalized since police shot him moments after the May 9 killing of Van Tha Na Lak, but authorities pressed charges Wednesday, Banteay Meanchey Prosecuting Judge Nhoung Thol said.
The defendant claimed that Van Tha Na Lak, 32, agreed to buy cattle from him last year but disappeared without paying for them, provincial police officer Loum Sokom said.
She returned across the Thai border May 9 to attend the wedding of a relative and met Sout Sa Veoun, Loum Sokom said. Sout Sa Veoun called the woman to the back of the home, where he demanded a return of his money, Loum Sokom said. When she refused, he pulled out a K-59 handgun and allegedly shot her six times in the chest, Loum Sokom said.
Police ran to the back of the house and shot Sout Sa Veoun in the leg when he pointed his gun at them, Loum Sokom said.
Sout Sa Veoun has confessed to the slaying, Loum Sokom said, and authorities now have six months to bring him to trial.