iPhone Killer Gets Death Sentence

BANGKOK — Two ex-convicts who stabbed a man to death stealing his iPhone were given death sentences by the Criminal Court on Wednesday.

Kittikorn Wikaha, 26, and Supattanachai Chansri, 25, did not get reduced sentences despite confessing to stabbing Vasin Lueangcham, 26, on a January night in northern Bangkok, an attack that prompted national revulsion when footage of it was widely watched.

In the security camera footage, Kittikorn and Supattanachai were seen arriving on a motorcycle. Kittikorn stabbed Vasin several times before escaping on the bike.

Upon his arrest, Kittikorn said he killed his victim because he put up a fight.

His victim-blaming admonishment to the public, saying “try not to put yourself at risk,” drew outrage.

That translated into increased support for tougher jail terms and sentencing, as Kittikorn had already served eight jail terms in 13 years for previous offenses, including violent crimes. His latest term had ended three weeks before he killed Vasin.

In its ruling today, the court said the punishment was not reduced because the two defendants  behavior posed a danger to society, and they were serial recidivists.

It was yet unclear whether the two would appeal.

Capital punishment has become uncommon after its regular use effectively ended 14 years ago. The last execution took place in 2009, when two drug traffickers were killed by lethal injection. Before that, the previous execution was carried out in 2003.

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No Suspects Yet in Murder of Bangkok Man for iPhone (Video)