Vientiane People's Court on Tuesday sentenced two men to death after they were convicted of killing a Chinese businessman at Nongduangtai village in Sikhottabong district, Vientiane, last October.
The two were also convicted of stealing money and valuables from their victim, according to statements made in the court.
A third defendant was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting.
The two men convicted were Phonsy, 33, of Nasiew village in Naxaithong district, Vientiane, and Phetlamphon, 25, of Nongno in Boualapha district, Khammuan province. Their accomplice was Mr Dokkeo, 22, of Kang village in Hadxaifong district, Vientiane.
The trial took place on Tuesday and was attended by police and other officials, according to a court report. The two were found guilty of the murder after being caught with money and valuables in their possession.
Even though he did not take part in the robbery and murder, due to the gravity of the crimes the court sentenced Dokkeo to 10 years in prison and fined him 10 million kip (US$1,583).
After being taken in for questioning Phonsy told police he had known a man named Phetsamay for some time before talking with him about finding a shop with a lot of money they could steal. The next day they met up to plan how they should carry out the robbery after identifying a suitable shop. Phetsamay suggested to Phonsy that they should rob the tyre shop where he used to work before he was laid off.
After agreeing on the tyre shop, Phonsy and Phetsamay contacted Dokkeo asking him to join them in the robbery, but he refused.
On October 19, Dokkeo suggested they persuade Phetlamphon, who had built Dokkeo's girlfriend's house, to join them, and he subsequently agreed. The next day, Phonsy borrowed a mini-truck from his girlfriend, Ms Khamphaeng, telling her he needed it to see his friends off.
He went to see Phetsamay and they prepared tools for the robbery, including two hammers, a taser and some tape before driving to pick up Phetlamphon.
The group arrived at the shop where they planned to have Phonsy pretend to be buying tyres while Phetsamay got ready to use the taser and Phetlamphon carried a hammer as a weapon in case anything went wrong.
Under their plan Phetlamphon and Phonsy were also going to use the tape to bind the victim's hands and feet. The final part of the plan was to take the shop's safe and drive off to Road 450.
During the actual robbery things went wrong because the shop owner fought back when the taser failed to incapacitate him. Phetlamphon hit the victim in the face with his hammer while they were fighting and then Phonsy used a second hammer to twice hit the man on the head, killing him outright.
The killers then searched the man's body to get the keys to open the room so they could steal money and take the safe.
They drove away with the money, the safe and some tyres. After that, they divided the spoils between them before fleeing to the provinces. They were finally apprehended by police on October 27 with the cooperation of local authorities. While they were in jail awaiting trial, Phetsamay escaped on May 19 and is still at large.
Police said the attackers stole more than 600 million kip (S$95,000) , 410,000 baht ($16,400) and about US$40,000 (S$50,000).