French-Thai Murder Couple Convicted, Got 14 Years

Amaury Rigaud and Rujira Iemlamai kiss Jan. 31 at Bueng Na Rang Police Station in Phichit Province.
Amaury Rigaud and Rujira Iemlamai kiss Jan. 31 at Bueng Na Rang Police Station in Phichit Province.

PHICHIT — Phichit police on Sunday said a court convicted a Frenchman and his Thai girlfriend and sentenced them to lengthy jail terms for murdering the woman’s Italian husband earlier this year.

Col. Chaisathian Maneejak, chief of the local police, said the Phichit Provincial Court initially sentenced Rujira Iemlamai and Amaury Rigaud to 20 years in jail for murdering and dismembering Giuseppe de Stefani, but their sentences were reduced by a third for confessing.

Rujira, 38, got 14 years and 4 months while Rigaud, 33, got 14 years and 8 months. Chaisathian said the Frenchman was also found guilty of illegally entering the country. Both have been detained at the provincial correctional facilities.

The burnt remains of 61-year-old de Stefani was found Jan. 19 in the woods of Bueng Na Rang district. The couple was captured 10 days afterward in a forested area along the border of Tak and Kamphaeng Phet provinces.

Police said Rigaud served in the French army for years as a sniper and used his skills to evade authorities along with Rujira. He was blacklisted for overstaying his visa and has a multiple records of illegal entry to Thailand.

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