By The Nation
Chon Buri chief public prosecutor Chingchai Chotesaeng read the charge to Suthep Poshsomboon at the Chon Buri Public Prosecutor Office.
Suthep was also charged with carrying a gun in public without permission.
The shooting took place on February 4 in Chon Buri’s Muang district following a dispute over a car parking space at a local market in Ang Sila involving Suthep and a group of teenagers.
The dispute was followed by a road-rage incident and a fistfight.
Suthep argued that he shot the teenager in self-defence when the teenager and his friends blocked his car with their van and surrounded his car. He said he feared for the safety of himself and his wife, who was also in the vehicle.
There has been heated online debate about the incident after the victim’s mother, sister and friends made strong public comments.
Celebrities have also voiced their opinions on social media, with many sympathising with the engineer. While many people say the shooting was justified, many others have demanded justice for the slain teenager.
Chingchai said four teenagers who surrounded Suthep’s car were charged with attacking authorities who had intervened. They were also charged with collaborating to carry out an assault.
He said the van driver was also charged with obstructing traffic for blocking Suthep’s car.
After hearing the charges, Suthep addressed reporters with tears in his eyes and said he would defend himself in court.
He said he had been simply trying to defend himself and his wife and he did not expect to be charged with murder.
He also questioned why the teenagers had not been charged with murder. “Did they have to kill me or my family first?” he asked.
As of press time, Suthep was trying to get bail with Bt500,000 assets put up as collateral.
Sahaparp Wongthamcharoen, the father of the slain schoolboy, said he would have filed a lawsuit if the public prosecutor had not charged Suthep with murder.
“It is not appropriate for people who carry arms in public places, use them and claim that the usage is for self defence. All these children were unarmed,” he said.