An American national charged with beating to death a Melbourne man in Thailand has killed before, court documents reveal.
Benjamin Robb, from Newport in Victoria, became involved in a drunken brawl at the Ruby Bar in Pattaya, 150km southeast of Bangkok, last Friday.
The fatal fight was between Mr Robb and a 43-year-old American man, identified as Jose Manuel Polanco Junior – who has since been charged with manslaughter.
Court documents from the US state of Florida have revealed Mr Polanco was previously charged with second degree murder after the death of an 18-year-old student.
Mr Polanco confessed to killing the victim, Michael Cooper, after being paid $20 to look at a problem with his car.
“After questioning the defendant for an hour and ten minutes, the defendant confessed to the murder,” the document said.
“He also told the detectives where he disposed of the murder weapon, which was not recovered, and where he disposed of his own bloody clothing, which was recovered.”
Mr Polanco’s charges were later downgraded and he spent two years behind bars for manslaughter with a firearm.
Meanwhile, new details have emerged about what led to the brawl, with authorities saying Mr Robb put his hands around the neck of a female bartender.
It’s believed that’s when Mr Polanco stepped in, allegedly beating Mr Robb until he was knocked unconscious.
Thai authorities claim Mr Polanco initially fled the scene but later turned himself over to police.
Thai paramedics and police were quickly on the scene and Mr Robb was taken to the nearby Pattaya Memorial Hospital, but despite treatment he died in the early hours of Saturday from his injuries including internal bleeding.
Eyewitnesses said both men had been drinking heavily in the afternoon and appeared intoxicated when the fighting broke out.
The US State Department told 9NEWS in a statement they are working with Thai officials.
“We are aware of reports regarding the arrest of a U.S. citizen in Thailand,” the statement said.
“When a U.S. citizen is detained overseas, the Department works to provide all appropriate consular assistance.
“Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
Meanwhile, The Ruby Club, in a statement, said the altercation had been brief and had left the Australian unconscious.
Mr Polanco is expected to be held in jail for at least 10 days before an initial court appearance.
Thai police said they would be carrying out a thorough investigation.
Eyewitnesses said some bars in Pattaya are popular among those involved in weight lifting and martial arts sports in Thailand.
Australian consular officials are helping the family of the man, but gave no further details.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian man who died in Thailand,” a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said.
“For privacy reasons we are unable to provide further details.” – Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018
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