Psychiatrist to see Khon Kaen murder suspects amid suicide watch

Psychiatrist to see Khon Kaen murder suspects amid suicide watch
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

The three women accused of murdering and dismembering a karaoke club singer will have a psychiatric interview after they showed signs of stress during an initial physical examination when they arrived at Khon Kaen Prison.

Prison director Weerachai Phetcharat said the detainees wept during their physicals and while they were questioned about personal information.

Weerachai said the three shared a detention cell for the first night of incarceration but they would be held in separate cells starting yesterday, he said.

Each woman was being supervised by two guards to prevent any suicide attempt, he added.

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The director said that he had asked for a psychiatrist from Khon Kaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital to meet the women and assess the state of their mental health.

Priyanuch Nonwangchai, 24, Kawita Rachada, 26, and Apiwan Satayabundit, 28, turned themselves in to Myanmar authorities on Saturday and were handed over to Thai police on suspicion of murdering Warisara Klinjui, 22, in Khon Kaen late last month.

Her dismembered body was discovered buried in a remote wooded area in Khao Suan Kwang.

The three women were forced to re-enact the crime on Monday before being taken to a provincial prison.

At least one of the women has confessed to the crime.

Weerachai said the women were healthy and Priyanuch and Kawita passed drug tests.

However, Apiwan's urine test showed signs of having taken drugs, which she reportedly did in Myanmar five days ago.

Apiwan's father and relatives yesterday visited her at the prison.

"Our whole family is sad. We had never thought things would come to this point," said her father.

Priyanuch's mother and elder sister also showed up at the prison but were denied a visit because they could not produce all the required documents.

In the wake of huge media coverage of the case, Chulalongkorn University academics will stage a seminar today on Thai society's keen interest in drama and violent-crime news and the media's competition in presenting such news.

The "Killing: A New Value?" seminar is designed to allow academics to address the issue and warn people to be careful when consuming such content.

"We also intend to remind media - both mainstream and online - about the negative impact of the content," Asst Prof Dr Pirongrong Ramasoota, the university's vice president for Social Outreach and Global Engagement, said.

Speakers at the seminar will include psychology expert Dr Sompoch Eiumsupasit, civil media expert Ua-jit Wirojtrairat, criminal code expert Pareena Srivanich, mass communication expert Munyat Akarachantachote and psychiatrist Puchong Laurujisawat.

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