L/Cpl Jakkrit Sangsaart, 23, from Chachoengsao, presented himself at Wichit Police Station at 5:30pm last Sunday for the fatal shooting of Theerasak Sae-Ong.
Mr Theerasak, the 30-year-old son of Rassada Municipality councillor Charoen Sae-Ong, was gunned down on Rattanakosin 200 Pi Rd at about 3:30am last Saturday. (See story here.)
Police reported finding at the scene seven bullet casings, but no firearms were reported as found.
Mr Theerasak had a bullet wound on his left temple and an exit wound on his right temple.
Within hours police had arrest warrants issued for L/Cpl Jakkrit and his associate Kongkiat Songkram, whom witnesses placed at the scene at the time of the shooting.
After presenting himself at Wichit Police Station last Sunday, L/Cpl Jakkrit denied the charge of murder and the charge of carrying a firearm in public without a permit. (See story here.)
However, Wichit Police Chief Col Nikorn Somsuk told The Phuket News late yesterday (Jan 25) that L/Cpl Jakkrit has changed his statement and has now accepted both charges against him.
“Mr Jakkrit has confessed to the murder charge and to the charge of carrying a firearm in a public place,” he said.
Col Nikorn refused to explain how or when L/Cpl Jakkrit changed his mind and made his confession. The best Col Nikorn would explain was “during the investigation process”.
At last report, L/Cpl Jakkrit last Sunday had denied both charges and released on B400,000 bail that was granted by the Wichit Police.
The Phuket Provincial Court and the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s Office had no role in the decision to allow the murder suspect to walk free.
Meanwhile, Wichit Police are now working on having the murder charge against Kongkiat Songkram dropped.
“Jakkrit confessed that he did it alone and that he was the gunman. Nobody else was involved in this crime. Only himself did it,” Col Nikorn said.
“Also, the witness confirmed with investigators that they saw him (Kongkiat) in the dark with unclear vision,” he added.
“And so Mr Kongkiat Songkram was present for the incident but he was not involved with this crime,” Col Nikorn assured.
L/Cpl Jakkrit remains free to walk the streets of Phuket while police continue their investigation, Col Nikorn confirmed.
The Wichit Police Chief is confident that the now self-confessed killer will not flee the island.
“I am not worried about it. Remember, Mr Jakkrit surrendered. He is in Phuket province, and his commander knows about this already. He won’t escape,” he said.
Asked when L/Cpl Jakkrit was due to present himself back at Wichit Police Station, Col Nikorn assured, “Anytime and any day that investigators want to question him more, but all aspects of the investigation must be completed within two months.”
Asked whether L/Cpl Jakkrit remained on active service as a police officer, Col Nikorn said, “I have no idea. It is up to the commander of Border Patrol Police Unit 425.”
Col Nikorn declined to explain any further details.
“I have spoken enough at this stage. Thank you,” he said.