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Sunday 24 April 2022

What's mine is mine, intruder shown door, fan from hell

Jealousy rears its head

Shooter Ekkapol Lopbamrung

A Chaiyaphum man was so angered by news that a close friend had taken up with his former wife that he stormed onto a rubber plantation and shot him to death.

Nong Yang police nabbed Ekkapol Lopbamrung, 31, for the slaying on Tuesday of his childhood friend, Surin Klongsak, 29.

He burst into the plantation as Surin was tapping rubber with his girlfriend, and Mr Ekkapol’s ex-wife, Nuchanat Thongmeesri, 30, in Khon San district.

She begged him not to do it, but he ignored her and without a word shot the victim from behind. When an injured Surin ran into the trees, Mr Ekkapol pursued him and shot him twice more, including once in the head.

In comments to reporters after his arrest, however, Mr Ekkapol denied he was motivated by jealousy or that he had plotted the killing.

Victim Surinthorn Rongsak
The men earlier came to blows on April 15 when Mr Ekkapol, who claims he had not truly left his wife but was merely living apart from her, turned up at the plantation and demanded to know what was going on between the pair.

Surin admitted he loved Ms Nuchanat and wanted to be with her. However, Mr Ekkapol could not accept it and punched and kicked Surin, who did not put up a fight.

Surin later told his mother, Bangon Rongsak, 61, that Mr Ekkapol attacked him “out of disgust”. 

She took her son to file a complaint with Nong Yang police, but that failed to deter Mr Ekkapol, who turned up at the plantation a second time four days later to shoot him.

Ms Bangon said she knew her son was seeing Mr Ekkapol, also a former neighbour of his. However, her son assured her that Ms Nuchanat had severed ties with him, so he decided to move in with her.

Mr Ekkapol, for his part, maintains he and his wife were still together as a couple, though living apart, and he was angered when he heard she had quietly started seeing his friend. He had moved to the provinces to seek work, he said.

Ms Nuchanat insists it was a permanent split, and took place five or six months before. News reports said Mr Ekkapol knew as much and had found a new girlfriend since he left his wife, but still sought revenge against his friend.

Mr Ekkapol, she said, had kept up a barrage of unpleasant phone calls and text messages to Ms Nuchanat until she started ignoring them.

After the initial assault, Mr Ekkapol saw his victim wasn’t willing to defend himself, so may have decided to escalate matters by taking his life, reports said.

Mr Ekkapol initially fled into the trees but police caught him a day later. They took him for a crime re-enactment, when Mr Ekkapol apologised to the spirit of his victim and prostrated himself on the forest floor.

Surin’s relatives said they were shocked Mr Ekkapol would kill his old mate, with his mother asking why they couldn’t talk about it sensibly.

Nong Yang police head Pol Col Rakchart Ruangcharoen said police were waiting for the results of forensic tests before laying charges.

Brave mum fights off sex pest

Duangporn Utahamat

A Yasothon mother is in shock after a young man turned up at her family plantation claiming engine trouble and then held a knife to her throat demanding sex.

Duangporn Utahamat, 41, said she was relaxing with her grandmother and two children outside their farmhouse in Samran, Muang district on April 17 when the man turned up wheeling his motorcycle and asking if he could rest at her house.

She had taken her family for a trip to the family-owned farm, which is some distance from the nearest community. “That day was a holiday so I decided to take everyone for an outing,” she said later.

However, their outing turned into a nightmare after the young man turned up out of the blue and attacked her.

After appearing outside their property with his bike, he approached Ms Duangporn asking her for help. “My motorbike has broken down,” he claimed.

The two started talking, when the visitor asked if there were any men on the property.

“I replied innocently that it was just me, my grandmother, and the kids aged 6 and 7,” she said. He walked around the place several times.

“He claimed he was a soldier on leave from Roi Et province, and said he was on his way to see a friend in Muang district when he developed engine trouble,” she said.

Earlier, he had been to see his girlfriend in Roi Et’s Phanom Phrai district, only to find her with another man.

Ms Duangporn, who took pity on the youngster, went inside her house to fetch some drinking water. He followed her inside, though Ms Duangporn said she did not notice him there at first.

“When I turned around, he grabbed a knife from a storeroom, held it to my throat and demanded I give him sex,” she said.

“If you resist, I will kill everyone,” he hissed.

Ms Duangporn put up a fight regardless, and called out to her grandmother for help. The young man kicked the grandmother, 80, to one side, and in the kerfuffle Ms Duangporn sustained a cut to her left hand.

She fled the house to her vehicle outside. However, the young intruder chased her and was able to wrest open the car door before she could get away.

“There was nothing I could do except beg for my life,” she said later as rescue workers bandaged her hand wound. The young man grabbed her car keys and her phone and threw them away before fleeing on his bike. Looking back now, Ms Duangporn said it was clear the young man came with ill intent.

Media reports lauded Ms Duangporn for putting up a fight. When the young man ran off, Ms Duangporn called out to the others to flee she sought help from a neighbour, who called the police. When the media caught up with her later, they were looking for the offender.

Fan has mind of its own
Kongkapan Kamthongluang

A Bung Kan restaurant worker insists his girlfriend died in a freak accident when his handgun fell from his waist, hit an electric fan and discharged, with the bullet entering her front as they relaxed in their hotel room.

Apinya Paimatr, 26, died some hours later after the bullet entered her stomach and lodged in vital organs. She was lying on a bed next to her boyfriend when the gun went off.

Police arrested her boyfriend Kongkapan Kamthongluang, 20, a restaurant worker in Seka district, initially on firearms charges. He was waiting for them when they responded to the call-out.

Before her death, Apinya managed to tell her elder sister non-verbally that her boyfriend in fact shot her deliberately after an argument. Armed with that information, she and her mother later laid a complaint with police.

Apinya Paimatr
Recounting the incident at the hotel room, Mr Kongkapan said he had returned from work on April 12 and was getting undressed for a shower when the blank gun, modified to take a 9mm cartridge, fell from his waistband and hit the fan next to the bed.

He was standing in the couple’s unit at the View Inn hotel. Mr Kongkapan claimed the bullet hit his girlfriend as she lay on the bed next to him and it was purely an accident.

The bullet entered her stomach and lodged itself in her intestines and lungs. She was transferred from Seka hospital, which treated her initially, to Bung Kan hospital where she died later from her injuries.

Apinya, originally from Kokphu in Sakon Nakhon, worked for the Seka Secondary School cooperative.

Nonglak Paimatr, her elder sister, who does not believe her boyfriend’s claims that the shooting was a mere accident, went to see her ailing sister at Bung Kan hospital before she died.

“The doctor didn’t want us to talk much, as she was so unwell, but we agreed on signals to communicate: a nod for yes, and shaking her head for no.

“I asked her if it was an accident and she shook her head. I asked her if he had shot her after an argument, and she nodded,” she told the media.

After her sister was cremated on April 14, she and her mother visited Seka police to file a complaint.

Mr Kongkapan’s family later secured his bail on the firearms offence. Earlier, he took police back to the room to show them how the shooting supposedly occurred.

Forensic workers kept the duvet cover showing the bullet entry wound for examination. Station head Pol Col Thamrongchai Laithongdee said if forensic tests show it was not an accident, Mr Kongkapan could face further charges such as carelessness leading to death or intentional killing. The case continues.

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