THE Court of Appeals yesterday overturned the conviction of a man accused of being the “popcorn gunฌman” who shot dead a man and wounded four other people at a 2014 demonstration led by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
The court ruled that there were no witnesses to implicate Wiwat Yodprasit in the crime. Despite the acquittal, however, the Appeals Court ordered Wiwat be detained pending the Supreme Court’s deciฌsion on the case.
Wiwat was alleged to have fired an M16 assault rifle covered with a popcorn bag at redshirt protesters during the clash with PDRC protesters around the Lak Si Intersection in February 2014. Police arrested him in Surat Thani province a month later.
The Criminal Court sentenced him to more than 37 years in jail for murder and attempted murder.
He was also found guilty of possessing guns and ammunition without permission, carrying guns and ammunition in a public place without permission, and carrying guns in areas under an emergency decree.
The original court had sentenced Wiwat to life imprisonment, but commuted that to 37 years and four months on the grounds that he confessed to the crimes during the police investigation.
Despite the alleged confession, Wiwat maintained his innocence during the trial.