|Thai ex-cop jailed for killing Canadian backpacker
A Thai court sentenced a former policeman to nearly four decades in jail for shooting dead a Canadian tourist during a scuffle in a northern resort town.
Uthai Dechawiwat, who pleaded guilty to the killing of Leo Del Pinto, 25, in January 2008, was handed a 37-and-a-half year prison term by a court in Chiang Mai. It was reduced from life.
Del Pinto was shot dead and his girlfriend Carly Reisig, 24, was hospitalized with a bullet wound after the policeman tried to break up an argument between the couple outside a restaurant in Pai town in Mae Hong Son province.
Soon after the incident Uthai was charged with Del Pinto's murder and the attempted murder of Reisig.
“The court ruled him guilty as charged and sentence him [to] life imprisonment,'' a court official told AFP, adding his guilty plea resulted in a reduced sentence.
said the former policeman changed his plea just weeks before the trial.
The Canadian couple were staying in Pai, a popular area for backpackers.
Local police have said the couple argued after Del Pinto accused Reisig of having an affair with a Thai man.