The trial begins Monday for a Phuket bar owner and six others who allegedly conspired to kill a young coyote dancer and her friend at Sattahip’s Khao Chee Chan.
Panya Yingang, 39, and alleged accomplices Kritsana Srisuk, 22, Kiattisak Surangsangboonmee, 35, Jirasak Unaiban, 34, and Sayan Srisuk, 43, all pleaded innocent to murder weapons and conspiracy charges Oct. 31. Gunman Narong Warintarawej, 22, pleaded guilty to murder, but denied the conspiracy charges, saying he had nothing to do with the killing.
The six go back to court Nov. 12 to face charges for shooting dead 20-year-old Paveena Namuangrak and Anantachai Jaritrum, 21, in a jealousy-fueled rage before the towering sculpture of Lord Buddha on the Sattahip mountainside.
Ronarong Kaewpetch, the attorney who heads the Social Justice Network, brought Anantchai’s parents, Suchin Jaritrum and Jomsri Chompupean, to Pattaya Provincial Court Oct. 31, but they and the defendants did not meet.
The lawyer filed a petition to add his clients as co-plaintiffs in the criminal case and said he will be filing a civil suit against Panya for 10 million baht. He said the young man earned 29,000 baht a month and sent 12,000 of that to his parents monthly.
While Panya plead innocent, he had confessed earlier, taking part in a police re-enactment of the slayings that shocked the East.
According to the final Aug. 21 re-enactment, Paveena and Anantachai were confronted by Panya and Narong, who opened fire using three guns. Despite multiple misfires, the gunmen shot both dead with shots to the head and back.
The young woman from Kalasin had come to Pattaya with schoolmate and co-worker Anantachai, another friend and Panya’s associate Sayan to celebrate her 20th birthday July 29. After visiting the Pattaya Floating Market and Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, they made the fateful stop at Khao Chee Chan to make merit at the 130-meter-tall Buddha image laser-carved into the side of the mountain.
Panya, whose nickname is “Mr. Fat Bangla”, for the road where he owns multiple bars in Phuket’s nightlife district, claimed he was in love with the girl who came to work at his Pum Pui go-go bar when she was just 17. Her family has said he made repeated romantic overtures to her over the coming year, which she rebuffed. After Panya reportedly assaulted her in public last year she left Phuket and went to work with Anantachai as a waitress in a Nakhon Sawan restaurant.
Paveena’s mother told Thai media that Panya persisted, even sending her 1 million baht over the family’s objections. Panya claimed it actually was seven million and, in return, she agreed to marry him.
She didn’t, of course, and an enraged Panya vowed revenge. He said outside the Pattaya courthouse Aug. 22 that it was then he decided to kill her so she could be “judged after death” for her betrayal. He allegedly had Anantachai killed because he wrongly believed he was Paveena’s boyfriend.