The Appeal Court upheld a lower court ruling convicting three women of the 2017 murder of a 22-year-old karaoke bar worker.
It also raised the conviction of another suspect in the crime to murder.
Preeyanuch “Preaw” Nonwangchai, Kawita Ratchada, Apiwan Sapbundit and Wasin Namprom were found guilty last year by the lower court on various charges including murdering and concealing the body of Warisara “Am” Klinjui, a bar worker in Khon Kaen.
The sentences against Preeyanuch and Kawita were commuted to 34 years and three months in jail each due to their confessions.
The lower court also commuted the jail term against Apiwan to 33 years and nine months, also due to her confession.
The lower court ordered Wasin to serve a jail term of 23 years four months and 20 days for assisting the three women in the murder and for helping to conceal Warisara’s body.
Yesterday, the Appeal Court upheld the rulings against the three women but increased the severity of the charge against Wasin to conspiracy to murder Warisara, which resulted in his jail sentence being increased to 34 years and six months.
The court said Wasin drove the car in which Warisara had been attacked and later died. Had he refused to drive the car and take part in the murder, Warisara might not have been killed; and for that reason, he should also be held accountable, according to the court.
Warisara’s dismembered body was found in Khon Kaen’s Khao Suan Kwang district in May 2017.
Wasin told authorities that Preeyanuch throttled Warisara, covered her head with a plastic bag and beat her to death after the victim was abducted in a rented Honda CRV car.
After Warisara was killed they disposed of the body on a plot of land owned by Preeyanuch in Khao Suan Kwang district, according to police.
Investigators said Preeyanuch held a grudge against Warisara as she believed the victim had divulged information to police which led to the arrest of Preeyanuch’s husband in a drug case.
He said they stopped to buy a saw at a hardware shop on the way to dispose of the body.
Police said Kawita and Apiwan also took turns driving the car and dismembering the body.
Preeyanuch’s older sister told police investigators that Preeyanuch had confessed to her that she had murdered Warisara