A man arrested for beating an elderly monk to death and fleeing in a stolen temple vehicle told police they had argued over payment of bets made on boxing matches on TV, and he lost his temper.
Makhata Seesai, 38, was caught at a relative’s house in the district of Wichian Buri in the northern province of Phetchabun in Thailand and later taken back to the city of Phitsanulok for a crime re-enactment.
Angry residents and monks gathered to watch the re-enactment and loudly put a curse on him. Police were deployed to prevent them assaulting the suspect.
Phra Somsri Apiwanano, 63, was found dead inside his living quarters on March 24 with head injuries and bruising to his body, by local people who came to make merit at the temple.
Mr Makhata confessed to having beaten the monk. He claimed he was not aware the monk had died.
He told police he went to the temple last week to see Phra Somsri, whom he knew well, and talk about his plan to enter the monkhood.
He later bought a bottle of liquor and drank at the temple before going back to the monk’s quarters, where they both watched boxing on TV.
They began betting with each other on the outcome of the fights. The monk had lost, but refused to pay the 2,500 baht (US$80) he owed him, the suspect said.
He claimed Phra Somsri challenged him, saying: “The boxers lost, but I won’t.”
This made him angry and he grabbed a large candle, about 60 centimetres long, and repeatedly beat the monk about the head with it, Mr Makhata said.
When he noticed the monk was unconscious, he stole a pickup truck key and drove of in the temple’s vehicle.
He was held in police custody for legal action. – SCMP
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