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Police in Northeastern Thailand Arrest Axe Murdering Ex-Abbot



Ex- deputy abbot Songkran Chaiyasin, 41 in Udon Thani, holds an axe, demonstrating how he used it – Photo Yutthapong Kumnodnae

UDON THANI – Police in the Northeastern province of Udon Thani have arrested the deputy abbot accused of killing a man with an axe.

Defrocked deputy abbot, Songkran Chaiyasin, 41 confessed to police he killed the man in a rage after the man demanded actual payment for a fighting cock he had bought from him and eaten.

During police interrogation, Songkran Chaiyasin, 41, told authorities that he had acted alone in the murder of Mr. Wicharn Prommin.

Songkran told police he had bought a fighting cock from Wicharn, who priced it at 500 baht, and had then boiled and eaten it.

He became extremely angry when Wicharn later demanded the money for the bird.

Mr Songkran was formerly Phra Songkran Porisuttho, deputy abbot of Wat Sri Boonruang temple in tambon Nong Sung of Muang district.

He was expelled from the monk-hood after being arrested for the murder in Pattaya, Chon Buri, on Monday and returned to Udon Thani.

He fled the temple shortly after Wicharn was killed.

The murder suspect is taken to the dug up grave where the victims body was found at the temple in Udon Thani on Tuesday. – Photo Yutthapong Kumnodnae

The body of Wicharn, 44,  was exhumed from the compound of the temple on Monday,  the victim’s body had multiple wounds to his neck, head and torso.

According to the Bangkok Post a former novice who witnessed the murder said Mr Songkran had been drinking with two assistants in the temple’s living quarters when Mr. Wicharn approached him.

The novice told police that the former abbot forced him to help bury the body and that after left the temple the following day and told his bother, who took him to the police.

Mr Songkran was taken back to Wat Sri Boonruang in Udon Thani for a crime re-enactment on Tuesday.

About 200 police commandos were deployed there to ensure peace and order as around 500 angry local residents flocked to the scene. The people loudly abused and scolded the suspect, with some calling down curses on him.

He was taken to the dug up grave and to the septic tank behind his living quarters that he threw the axe into after allegedly killing Wicharn with it.

Afterwards, he was whisked away and taken to the police station in Muang district.


By Yutthapong Kumnodnae
Bangkok Post

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