Woman Admits to Killing Husband, Claims Self-Defense

Police in Prey Veng province have arrested a woman who turned herself in after killing her husband with an ax following a day of drinking beer with neighbor and, she claims, after several years of physical abuse against both her and their children.

Youn Sophea, 42, called the authorities herself soon after killing her husband, Hoeun Hurn, 47, at home in his sleep at about 11 p.m. on Saturday, Pea Reang district police chief Sim Kosal said on Sunday.

“The woman chopped her husband one time on the left side of his neck and the man died instantly,” Mr. Kosal said.

“The woman told our authorities that she killed her husband because the husband used to hurt her when he was drunk and had threatened to kill her and their children during an argument earlier that evening.”

The police chief said the couple had been drinking beer with neighbors at their house for most of the day, but he did not mention whether the neighbors were present when the alleged threat was made. The neighbors had yet to be questioned.

“We arrested the woman and we are now building a case to send to the provincial court tomorrow,” he said.

Contacted by telephone while in custody, Ms. Sophea confessed to killing her husband of nearly 20 years. She said he had often beaten her, and their children, aged 15 and 18.

On the day of the murder, she said, he had grown angry with her after accusing her of wasting their food by cooking more than the family could eat and forcing them to throw away the leftovers.

“I chopped him to death with an ax because he threatened to kill me and the children during an argument in the afternoon. That’s why I decided to kill him, because I was afraid he would carry out his threat,” Ms. Sophea said.

“I do not regret the murder because I think the court will go easy on me, because I killed him after he threatened to kill me and my children.”

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