Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Chaiwat Uikam presented the suspect, Uten Jitman 62, at a press conference at the Phuket Provincial Police office at Phuket City Police headquarters in Phuket Town this morning (Oct 30).
Joining Col Chaiwat at the press conference were Maj Gen Thatchai Pitanilaboon, Deputy Commander of Region 2 Police and Col Padoongsak Raksasin, Deputy Commander of Sa Kaeo Provincial Police.
Gen Thanchai explained that Phuket Provincial Police had taken Uten into custody at the Rassada Hotel on Thepkrasattri Rd in Rassada, north of Phuket Town, at 3:30pm yesterday.
Uten was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Sa Kaeo Provincial Court for the murder of Lt Sameinchai Peupein, 56, who was stationed with the Burapha Task Force at the Royal Thai Army base in Sa Kaeo.
Uten has been charged with murder and illegal possession of a firearm, Gen Thatchai confirmed.
Gen Thatchai explained that police were called to a grilled fish restaurant in Moo 12 of Watthana Nakhon District, Sa Kaeo, at 11:50pm last Thursday (Oct 25).
“Police found only blood inside the building, not the injured man (Lt Sameinchai), as a neighbour had already taken him to Watthana Nakhon Hospital,” he said.
“Lt Sameinchai was shot three times. He died at hospital,” Gen Thatchai said.
Gen Thatchai explained that Uten and his wife had owned the restaurant for two years, but that Uten had to leave to work in Bangkok.
Uten came back and saw a car parked in front of the restaurant. He then walked into the bedroom at the back of the restaurant, where the shooting happened, he added.
Mr Uten himself explained at the press conference today, “I saw my wife with Lt Sameinchai. They were holding each other in bed.
“Lt Sameinchai saw me. He was quick and grabbed his gun first, but the gun failed to fire. Then I shot at Lt Sameinchai first – twice, and then two more times,” he said.
Lt Sameinchai was struck by three bullets.
Police today declined to mention Uten’s wife.
Crying at the press conference this morning, Uten said, "I know what I did was wrong. I am willing to cooperate fully with the police... I ran beacuse I wanted to get as far as I could from the area, where I would be in danger.”
Gen Thatchai and Col Padoongsak are taking Uten back to Sa Kaeo today for further questioning.