A Thai court has sentenced an Australian man to the death penalty for the kidnapping and murder of a Hells Angels member alleged to have been a major drug trafficker.
Antonio Bagnato, 28, was found guilty of murder, deprivation of liberty and disposing of a body.
In December 2015, former Hells Angels member Wayne Schneider was abducted from his outside home by five men and was later found buried with a broken neck and facial injuries consistent with a severe beating.
Read – Sentenced to death in Thailand – Video of arrest
The judge said the killing was premeditated, with GPS from the getaway car, DNA from the crime scene and witness testimonies all connecting Bagnato to the crimes.
“The first defendant [Bagnato] is found guilty of all charges and according to the criminal code, the penalty is execution for the murder and deprivation of liberty, plus a year in prison for hiding the body,” Judge Sirichai Polkarn at the Pattaya Provincial Court said.
The court room was packed with representatives of all parties.
“We’ve got hearts and they’re hurting right now,” a relative of Bagnato said, calling the verdict “ridiculous”.
The judge said DNA evidence also placed 22-year old American man, Tyler Gerard, at the scene of the abduction.
Mr Gerard received a three-year sentence for deprivation of liberty, that was reduced to two years for his cooperation with the investigation.
The sentence includes time already served in pre-trial detention, meaning he could be free before the end of the year.