Russey Keo district police on May 23 sent a fugitive convicted in-absentia of murder to Prey Sar prison pursuant to a Phnom Penh Municipal Court arrest warrant.

The fugitive had already been given a life sentence for stabbing a woman to death in 2014 in Chung Thnol village of Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune. His accomplice in the crime is also currently behind bars.

Russey Keo district police chief Heang Thareth identified the accused as Rith Say, 34, also known by the alias Morm. He had been staying in a rented room in Russey Keo district’s Chraing Chamreh II commune and was arrested there on May 22. His accomplice named Chhay Yokleap, 29, was also apprehended.

“I arrested them pursuant to the court warrant. Procedurally, a person who is arrested under this type of warrant must be sent to prison because they have already been sentenced by the court,” he said.

According to police records, on August 4, 2014, a woman named Chhem Sokhim was stabbed 16 times in her rented room and died. The killers also stole her jewelry and cash.

After the murder, both suspects managed to evade arrest until December 15, 2014, when police caught Yokleap in Bek Chan commune’s Kao village in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district. Morm remained at large.

In a verdict signed by Presiding Judge Chhay Vireak on July 7, 2015, Yokleap and Morm were both sentenced to life in prison on charges of premeditated murder under Article 200 of the Criminal Code.

Court records said that following Yokleap’s appeal of the sentence, the Appeals Court heard the case on January 19, 2017, and announced their verdict on February 6, 2017, upholding the life sentences.

However, only Yokleap was present at the hearing while Morm remained on the run.

Yokleap then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, which upheld the verdict on October 28, 2018.

The court then ordered the police to find and arrest Morm so that he could begin serving his life sentence, but he managed to elude the police for a few more years until his recent capture.