BANGKOK – The trial for Pornchanok Chaiyapa deemed “The Black Widow” by Thai Media began Monday, she and her husband are accused of murdering a 79-year-old Yoshinori Shimato in September 2014.
According to the Bangkok Post, the defendants, Pornchanok Chaiyapa and her common-law husband Somchai Kaewbangyang, both 47, denied the charges against them.
Mr Somchai admitted to the charges at the investigation stage, but later recanted them. The next court date is set for March 9.
Ms Pornchanok and Mr Somchai were arrested in October over the disappearance of Yoshinori Shimato, a Japanese language teacher.
According to investigations, the pair murdered Shimato at Ms Pornchanok’s house in the Orchid Villa housing estate in Samut Prakan’s Bang Sao Thong district by stabbing him with a 15-inch knife and smothering him with a pillow.
Mr Somchai then allegedly cut Shimato’s body into pieces and dumped them in Khlong Nang Thing in Bang Bo district. The body parts were retrieved from the canal on Oct 22.
Prosecutors also claim Ms Pornchanok and Mr Somchai stole items worth 41,500 baht from Shimato, including a laptop, luggage and a brand-name leather bag.
The pair are also suspected of killing a 56-year-old Japanese man, Katsutoshi Tanaka, in 2003. Tanaka’s death in a Bangkok suburb had previously been ruled an accident.