Police in Phnom Penh arrested three brothers on Wednesday for killing their neighbor with a sword after he hurled insults at them while intoxicated on Tuesday night, officials said.
Khat Sokpheaktra, 31, who worked as a wedding cook, had been walking home alone after a night of heavy drinking when he spotted the middle brother, Hin Chanthin, 21, and directed an apparently unprompted stream of vitriol at the young man and his siblings, according to deputy district police chief Iev Chhun Pheng.
Mr. Chanthin had been standing outside his house and repeatedly told Khat Sokpheaktra to be quiet and move on, but to no avail, Mr. Chhun Pheng said.
“He shouted a lot of insults at the family, so the suspect called his brothers to help and the three of them chased after the victim,” he said, naming the other two brothers as Hin Chanthoun, 18, and Hin Chanthon, 25.
“The brothers beat the victim while their younger brother ran to get a samurai sword from their house and slashed the victim, leaving him badly injured,” he said, explaining that the 18-year-old had landed blows to the cook’s left temple and right arm.
Mr. Chhun Pheng said the brothers then hid at their aunt’s house nearby, where they were arrested at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday. The bloody sword was discovered near a tree outside their home, he said.
Khat Sokpheaktra was unconscious but still alive when neighbors found his body, but he died soon after arriving at the commune referral hospital, he said.
District police chief Tieng Chansar said the brothers were being held at the district police station and would be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today to face murder charges.
“We accused all three of them of intentional murder because they joined together to kill the victim,” he said. “They didn’t plan to kill the victim, but they got angry with him for insulting them.”