US citizen in Thailand charged with murder of Thai woman – fr

US citizen in Thailand charged with murder of Thai woman – fr

BANGKOK – Thai police said on Friday they accused a U.S. citizen of the state of Colorado with the murder of his pregnant Thai wife.

© Provided by The Canadian Press

Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, was questioned on Friday in the northern town of Nan where he had lived with Pitchaporn Kidchob, Police Lt. Col. Somkiat Ruam-ngern said. The murder charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Balzer was arrested in the northern city of Chiang Mai on Thursday and confessed to killing his 32-year-old wife, said Major General Weerachon Boontawee, head of the Provincial Police’s Region 5 Detective Department. It was not known if Balzer had a lawyer representing him. Balzer’s last known residence in the United States was in Longmont, Colorado.

According to Weerachon, Balzer said Pitchaporn had “given her hope” so he married her and bought her a house in Nan, her home province. Balzer said he became furious when she tried to chase him away, so he stabbed her with a knife, the officer said.

He said Balzer put his body in a trash can which he sealed and buried in the woods about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from their home. Balzer then traveled on a motorcycle to Chiang Mai, where he was arrested, Weerachon said.

Police had been alerted to a possible crime when Pitchaporn’s mother, who had been unable to reach her daughter by phone, visited the couple and found bloodstains.

Balzer, a programmer, met Pitchaporn in Thailand in 2017 and they got married in the United States, after which Balzer quit his job, sold all of his properties and moved to Nan, the Thai Rath newspaper reported, citing the Provincial Police Region 5 Commander, Prachuab Wongsuk.

Balzer said he did not know his wife was three months pregnant, Prachuab said.

According to Colorado media, Balzer has had legal issues in the past.

The Boulder Daily Camera reported that in December 2019, Balzer pleaded guilty to one count of third degree assault in Boulder District Court and was sentenced to two years probation. He said he was originally charged with attempted murder and six related counts, but his victim would not testify in court.

The Greeley Tribune reported that Balzer and a second man were arrested by police on December 30 last year in the town of Mead for a possible traffic violation and were carrying 72 guns.

Balzer was arrested for 74 protection order violations, two counts of possession of an illegal weapon and two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon, according to the report. He was released after posting bail, he said.

Chalida Ekvitthayavechnukul et Grant Peck, Associated Press


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