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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Thailand: Bar girl murder suspects to face death penalty

Four suspects in the Khon Kaen bar girl dismemberment case are looking at the death penalty after being officially charged with premeditated murder yesterday.

Apparently, authorities don’t believe murder suspect Preeyanuch Nonwangchai’s story that the killing was accidental and that she just meant to teach her alleged victim, Warisara Klinjui, 22, a lesson.

Preeyanuch and three alleged accomplices, Kawita Rachada, 26, Apiwan Satayabundit, 28, and Wasin Namprom, 22, face premeditated murder charges. 

Another suspect, Jidarat Promkun, 21, is facing lesser charges and may not have been in the car at the time of the crime.

The only punishment given for a conviction for premeditated murder is the death penalty. However, Thailand has not actually carried out an execution since 2009.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Tanasak Rittidejpaiboon said yesterday, “There is evidence that the suspects made preparations for the murder,” reported The Nation.

Police plan to conclude their investigation in less than three months and will oppose bail. Not that any members of any of the suspects’ families have come forward to try and post for the alleged killers.

Kawita’s sister denied the widespread rumors that her younger sister had millions of baht flowing in and out of her bank account each month. However, that, paired with the trio’s alleged drug use and possible drug dealing, spurred police to open an investigation into their finances that will go back to 2014. 

They expect to learn if the women were involved in large-scale drug dealing from this probe.


Court hands death sentence to Lat Phrao iPhone mugger-murderers


The Criminal Court today handed down death sentences to the two ex-convicts that murdered a 26-year-old man during an iPhone theft in Lat Phrao earlier this year.

Kittikorn Wigaha, 26, and Supatchai Chansri, 25, were sentenced for the robbery-murder of Wasin Leungjam on Jan. 4 in Sukhonthasawat Soi 27. The case angered the public and drew the attention of international media.

In the CCTV footage, Wasin was seen attacked by the two men who approached him on a motorcycle. The victim fought back against having his phone stolen, leading Kittikorn to stab him in the neck and leaving him to die. The pair then escaped on their motorcycle.

It was reported that only his iPhone was stolen while his wallet was intact.

Although both men confessed to the crime, the court did not commute the sentence, reasoning that they confessed because the case against them was too strong not to, Kapook reported.

Sarutta Leungjam, the victim’s sister, said that she is “satisfied” with the court sentence and that she “believes in karma.”

She added that her parents did not come to the hearing because they did not want to face the defendants, but they have forgiven the men.

Source: Coconuts Bangkok, June 8, 2017, May 31, 2017

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