A mentally ill man was jailed in Oddar Meanchey province on Saturday for killing his cousin after being reprimanded for allowing a chicken to eat from a plate of rice, a local police official and a family member said Sunday.
Acting Samraong City police chief Luy Nak said Ki Reasmey, 28, was arrested at a local market on Friday evening, about 20 minutes after beating his cousin, Ki Chanra, 24, to death with a hoe at their grandfather’s house in the city over a dispute the two had earlier in the day.
“After being informed about the case, I deployed my forces to patrol the…area to arrest the suspect,” Mr. Nak said, adding that Mr. Reasmey was charged with intentional violence with aggravating circumstances at the Oddar Meanchey Provincial Court on Saturday, then sent to the provincial prison to await trial.
The grandfather, Sat Ki, 77, said Ki Chanra, an army officer stationed in Siem Reap province, rebuked Mr. Reasmey, who suffers from a mental illness, as the three of them sat eating lunch under his stilt house. He said Ki Chanra became angry when Mr. Reasmey decided to share his plate of rice with a chicken that had wandered over in search of food.
“There was a chicken eating rice from the dish of my mentally ill grandson while he was eating it, too,” Mr. Ki said.
“My other grandson scolded him a little because he allowed the chicken to eat rice with him instead of chasing it away,” he said, adding that although he managed to put a stop to an argument that ensued, his grandsons got into a physical altercation several hours later.
“My granddaughter came into the house and told me that they were fighting outside and I went out and stopped them,” he said.
Mr. Ki said he took Ki Chanra aside and that Mr. Reasmey ran behind the house. A few minutes later, he said, Mr. Reasmey returned with a hoe and charged.
“[Mr. Reasmey] hit my…grandson, the victim, with a digging hoe four times until my…grandson fell and died immediately,” he said.