BANGKOK (AFP) - A British kickboxer on Wednesday pleaded guilty to murdering a former US Marine during a bar fight in Thailand, his lawyer said, reversing his previous plea.
Prosecutors allege Lee Aldhouse stabbed to death 23-year-old Dashawn Longfellow -- who was in Phuket after sustaining a combat injury in Afghanistan -- in a 2010 fight in the tourist resort of Phuket.
Aldhouse, known in Phuket by his ring name "The Pitbull", fled to his home country after the incident and become the first British suspect to be extradited to Thailand under a century-old treaty.
"A court today read him his (murder) charge and he pleaded guilty," his lawyer Kampon Siriwatunyoo told AFP, without giving details of why he changed his plea.
Phuket prosecutor Chaingsaen Panya said Aldhouse's hearing was expected to start on September 2 and would see three witnesses take the stand.
Kickboxer Lee Aldhouse is accused of murdering a former US Marine in a barfight.
Under Thai murder laws Aldhouse could face the death penalty or up to life in prison.
Aldhouse fled to Britain after Longfellow was stabbed but was arrested upon arrival and detained for almost two years while he fought extradition to Thailand.
He lost his extradition battle and in December last year became the first Briton in more than a century to be sent to Thailand for trial.
#1 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
He likely pleaded guilty as part of a deal - official or otherwise. A guilty plea almost always means a lessar sentence.
I'm surprised he was extradited though. I wonder if the Thai government promised he would not receive the death penalty. I know this is an issue between the US and European nations when extradition is requested for capital offenses.
#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
It's a pretty big Island too. Accuracy in the media isn't it's strong suit I'm afraid.
My pet peeve is reporting on military matters.
The word reconnaissance must be too long - because it's always replaced with spy.
Everything with armor is a tank. Armored personnel carrier, self-propelled artillery - they're all tanks.
Machine Gun is a good, all purpose word for any hand held weapon that's not a pistol.
#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
'Machine Gun is a good, all purpose word for any hand held weapon that's not a pistol.'
Yet some of those Afghan tribesmen were using Martini-Henry single shot breech loaders in the late 80's probably still are.
You wouldn't call those machine-guns would you? and how about a Ka-Ba that's not a machine-gun.
Don't worry just pointing out that you didn't actually say what you meant to say.
'Thai government promised he would not receive the death penalty.'
Undoubtedly, no EU country will allow extradition without those terms.
Europe learned a long time ago that when there has been a miscarriage of justice and there have been many in capital crimes. You can't free a dead man.
What I read about America is if you are poor and black you go to death row but if you have money it usually leads to a lighter sentence. Having a good attorney (that is an expensive one) works in all systems but at least in Europe if you are found guilty and are actually innocent there are many who will work tirelessly pro bono to finally prove that innocence ( Google 'Birmingham six ' as an example). Ironically the only one who I can think of who works tirelessly to help people sentenced to die in U.S. is Clive Stafford Smith. A British guy with American bar qualifications.
This case has been going on awhile. I think this was a fight rather than outright cold blooded murder and as such he is likely to get a light sentence that is why he has pleaded guilty. It's also possible that he'll serve his sentence in the UK as it has a prisoner exchange deal, though I doubt many Thais in UK prisons would want that. British prisons are cushy. Cable in cells, menus for food etc.
#5 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
I meant the media think it's a good all purpose term (Machine Gun). Certainly not me.
As for the death penalty, I agree that it's implementation is not always fair. BUT, and this is a big but, in countries with no death penalty, penalties for severe crimes are lower all the way around. And for some crimes, there's just no other reasonable penalty. Take those two individuals who killed the soldier as he left his installation. It was a deliberate and vicious murder of an off duty troop. They should die. Anything less is not justice.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
'penalties for severe crimes are lower all the way around'
Agree entirely. As far as I am concerned cold-blooded murder deserves a sentence of whole life. I can imagine how distraught the victim's family feels when a convicted killer gets 25 years and is out in 10.
When the death penalty was abolished in UK the expectation was that those convicted would spend the rest of their days in prison.
I really don't know why this is not so. I DO know that most people agree that life should mean life.
I haven't heard much about this case other than it was a fight. Under UK law this would probably be assessed as manslaughter rather than murder. This is a much lesser crime than murder and would get a lower sentence.
Let's see what this guy gets. Kickboxer versus Marine must have been a hell of a fight.In the heat of the moment, knowing he was losing I expect this guy pulled a knife without thinking out the consequences.
#7 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
There are variable factors we just don't know.
Who started the fight?
How did a knife get into the fight? Did the altercation end, and then the perpetrator went and got a knife? That would make is second degree murder in the states. In Thailand I don't know what it would equate to, but again, I don't know all the facts, or even most of the facts.
The reason that sentences reduce all the way around (ironically for anything but vigalantiism which is treated more severely) is because of the liberalizing influences that remove the death penalty in the first place. In the US the majority of the American people support the death penalty. In Europe the majority does not. So in this sense, democracy is largely reflecting the will of the people.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
'Take those two individuals who killed the soldier as he left his installation. It was a deliberate and vicious murder of an off duty troop. They should die. Anything less is not justice.
'Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death (The Fort Hood massacre).
He put up no defence because he wants to die a martyr.
Don't you think whole life in the sterile basement of some hi-tech prison would be a better punishment? No martyrdom there.
Do you know how the Thais view a death in a bar brawl? Is it seen as murder?
Also seeing as it is farang v farang will they be less concerned with giving a heavy sentence?
#9 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
I got into a bar fight once. I got 3 shots in, then put him in a headlock and dragged him to some stairs then threw him down. Luckily he wasn't seriously hurt I suppose but he did start it.
Best to avoid all bar/street fights though. Even if you win there's no upside.
#10 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"Don't you think whole life in the sterile basement of some hi-tech prison would be a better punishment?"
but that can cost $3m to house these dirtbags. Western prisons are very expensive to run.
#11 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
"Don't you think whole life in the sterile basement of some hi-tech prison would be a better punishment? No martyrdom there."
No. I think the death penalty for him is right and just. And I hope he's executed.
"Do you know how the Thais view a death in a bar brawl? Is it seen as murder?"
It's murder, but what level of murder I don't know. All murder is not the same.
"Also seeing as it is farang v farang will they be less concerned with giving a heavy sentence?"
The Thai justice system is more fair than people think it is.
#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
'Even if you win there's no upside.'
There is a type of brawler. He may not be big, he may not be good fighter but he's dangerous because he will never let it go.
These are the dangerous ones.
#13 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
I'm afraid I qualify for that kind of guy. I just can't let go.
Tonight sparring in TKD I was sparring a guy coming in at 75kg. A black belt, very good skills, competing right now for Thai nationals. He hit me with a round kick right in the eye, and I just wouldn't back down. I just can't seem to do it. Eye is swollen almost shut now, and I still sparred him two more rounds. Trainer told me to stop, but nope, had to go on. Too stubborn for my own good.
#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Recently in Oklahoma City, 3 young men shot a young Australian in the back while he was jogging just because they wanted to see someone die. Since they are below the age of 18, I don't think they can be given the death penalty. Not for sure though. What's the Australian view of the death penalty?
#15 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
Australia got rid of the death penalty many decades ago. Lots of people support it though.
#16 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148