Attempted Murder Charge Lessened to Property Damage

Pailin Provincial Court on January 15 handed down a conviction for property destruction against a man arrested last year and charged with attempted murder for attempting to run down three people in his car, a lawyer confirmed Wednesday.

Pov Dana, 27, was arrested in Pailin City in early November 2012 after twice attempting to drive his sport utility vehicle over three men on a motorcycle after they refused to give way to him on a narrow stretch of road, according to court documents obtained last week.

During one of the attempts to crash into the three men, Mr. Dana even rammed his car into the Pailin provincial police station, where the three mostly unhurt men had sought refuge from the SUV onslaught.

Mr. Dana was arrested and charged hours later with attempted murder, and placed in prison pending trial.

On January 15, however, the court found Mr. Dana guilty of only the intentional destruction of the three men’s motorcycle, and sentenced him to 16 months in prison, his lawyer, Nach Try, said Wednesday.

“The court has changed the charge from a crime to a misdemeanor, so he will be released soon,” Mr. Try said, explaining that his client would be released from prison sometime in March and was satisfied with the court’s decision.

Court officials, including Pailin prosecutor Chum Sensathea and court clerk director Hun Chetra, declined to comment on the reason for Mr. Dana’s conviction on a lesser charge.

Pailin provincial police chief Brigadier General Chea Chandin said he had not yet been informed of the decision.

Intentional destruction of an individual’s property carries a sentence of six months to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. According to Article 199 of the penal code, Mr. Dana would have faced a prison sentence of between 10 and 15 years if convicted of attempted murder.

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