Top court rejects killer's plea
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the Appeals Court's sentence of 13 years and six days imprisonment given to a former Chulalongkorn University engineering teacher assistant for shooting dead a food vendor who urinated into a canal in front of his home on March 30, 2005.After failing in his appeal for a lighter sentence, the 53-year-old defendant, Santilak Thanyahan or Pattarawat Thanyahanrungroj, is now considering asking for a royal pardon. The court was told vendor Suthan Itthisurasing, 45, had attended his niece's birthday party at a rented house near Santilak's building and was seen urinating in front of Santilak's home. After Santilak fired a gun skywards twice, Suthan shouted at him, a heated argument ensued and Santilak fatally shot Suthan in the chest.
Santilak claimed Suthan and a knife-carrying friend started the argument and Santilak produced the gun. The friend struggled for it and the weapon went off, killing Suthan.
The primary court in November 2006 initially sentenced Santilak to 18 years in prison for murder plus nine additional days for firing a gun in public. It then lowered the punishment to 12 years and six days.
The primary court added a one-year jail term for Santilak's parole violation from a previous case of assault on his wife Sirinrat, making a total of 13 years and six days in jail.
The Appeals Court in March 2009 upheld the ruling, after which Santilak appealed to the Supreme Court.