Suriyan Pudinsai, 31, from Udon Thani, was arrested at about 5am for the murder of fellow boat painter Boonam Rawia, 23, from Ubon Ratchathani, who was slain at the men’s shared accommodation in Soi Nok Tah Kaew, near Baan Manik, at about midnight.
Thalang Police were alerted to the murder at about half-past midnight and arrived at the scene to find Mr Boonam’s body fallen in a blood-spattered mess at the door to the room.
Mr Boonam had suffered four knife wounds, one each under his chin, on top of his left shoulder, under his right arm and under his left breast.
One of the knife wounds had penetrated his heart.
Nimit Siri, 22, told police he was drinking with the two men in front of the room when they started arguing, then started hitting each other.
Suriyan then went inside the room and retrieved a large kitchen knife, more than 30cm long, then returned and stabbed Mr Boonam, Mr Nimit said.
He then fled on his motorbike with his girlfriend.
Police alerted officers at the Tha Chatchai Checkpoint, which is Phuket’s only road gateway to the mainland, but Suriyan returned to the scene at about 5am, when he was taken into custody.
Thalang Police told The Phuket News that he had confessed to the stabbing.
Suriyan has now been charged with murder, police confirmed.