Thai Crime: Jo Ferrari Believes That He Did Not Kill Anyone, Will Accept Assault Charges

Thritisan “Jo Ferrari” Utthanaphon, along with the other 6 police officers now in custody for the fatal torture of a 25-year-old drug suspect, denies the charges against him. Last week, Thitisan’s lawyer met with him at Phitsanulok prison and dispelled rumors that he suffered from bipolar disorder, confirming that he was in good mental health.
Thitisan’s lawyer and legal team will not use any defense related to Thitisan’s mental stability after questions were raised regarding the possibility of bipolar disorder or other similar affliction when antidepressant medications were found during the search of his room. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for people in high-stress situations to self-medicate with those medications.
Titisan’s defense team will instead argue that there was no intent to kill the suspect and that he is only guilty of assault. Despite admitting he bound the victim’s hands behind his back and put six plastic bags over his head, they claim they never contemplated his death.
Thitisan faces charges of premeditated murder by torture, malfeasance, and unlawful deprivation of liberty. It’s a stark difference between the charges he faces and the assault charge his defense will argue is the only thing he’s guilty of.
The current charges carry harsh penalties, including the death penalty. On the other hand, assault leading to death without intent, or possible manslaughter, would only warrant a punishment of up to 15 years, or even as little as 3 years.
Thitisan’s legal team will attempt to reduce any charges of premeditated murder to accidental death caused by physical harm.
The 7 officers, including Thitisan, are now being held at Bangkok’s Klongprem Prison after being transferred from Phitsanulok at the request of the Crime Suppression Division, which is conducting the investigation. The other six suspects maintain their innocence in the case. The bail request for Thitisan has not yet been submitted.

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