The First Court in Chumphon province on Friday sentenced to death a man and a woman after finding them guilty of involvement in killing the man’s fiancee five days before their wedding day in late December last year.

 

However the Court reduced the punishment to life sentence as Ronnachai Panchart and his girlfriend, Naruemon Chuaysombat, confessed and gave information useful to the trial.

Ronnachai and Nonthiya Kraujatturat, a dental official of a hospital in Chumphon, were going to tie the knot on December 24, but on December 19, Nonthiya’s body with a single gunshot wound to the chest was found in a dormitory in the hospital’s compound.

The death of the bride dominated headlines for days and shook the small community, partly because Nonthiya was known among the public due to her hospital work.

Their wedding day was widely known as the bride-to-be posted invitation cards to her Facebook account. Police at first focused the investigation on the suspicion of a robbery gone wrong.

However the probe was shifted to the groom after they found Nonthiya’s angry Facebook messages against Ronnachai, denouncing him for having a new girlfriend.

Ronnachai confessed after a lengthy police investigation that he had changed his mind about the marriage and wanted to cancel the wedding due to a new girlfriend, Naruemon. Nonthiya however insisted on wedding him.

The court found that Naruemon gave Ronnachai a ride to Nonthiya’s dormitory on the night of December 18 and waited for him nearby. Wearing a hood, Ronnachai broke into Nonthiya’s room and found her sleeping with the television on. The woman woke up and asked who was there in the dark. The defendant fired the gun at Nonthiya’s chest, instantly killing her.

He then escaped with his new girlfriend, who was waiting at an arranged place.

The court sentenced Naruemon to the same punishment as Ronnachai as she had helped plan the murder, drove him to kill Nonthiya and purchased the gun used in the murder.

Parents of the victim on Friday thanked the court for bringing justice to their daughter. The convicted have 30 days to appeal.