Man sent to court for killing pregnant wife

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The suspect says he was trying to open his wife’s clenched jaw with the axe handle. Police

A man was arrested in the capital on Monday for murdering his pregnant wife by allegedly suffocating her with an axe handle.

Meanchey district police arrested the suspect in Stung Meanchey I commune’s Trea village and sent him to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday.

District police chief Meng Vimeandara could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Commune police chief Mao Savoeun confirmed that the 22-year-old suspect was sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

He said residents discovered the naked body of a woman in an old cottage in the village on the evening of July 11. The axe handle was left in the victim’s mouth.

After his arrest, the suspect said he married the victim five years ago and they were scrap collectors. His wife was five-months pregnant and they frequently argued.

Citing the suspect, Savoeun said the victim had a tetanus disorder and regularly suffered from convulsions. On the night of the incident, he said his wife’s jaw closed and locked up.

The suspect said he inserted the axe handle into his wife’s mouth, which suffocated and killed her. When he realised she was dead he escaped.

Police have classified the case as murder.

Coroner Norng Sovannaroth confirmed on Wednesday that the victim died of suffocation and noted blood around her nostrils.