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Thai cabdriver accused of killing American in fare dispute

From Kocha Olarn, CNN
July 8, 2013 -- Updated 1647 GMT (0047 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police arrest driver in Bangkok after viewing security footage
  • The victim was an American who had lived in Thailand for three years

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- A taxi driver in Thailand has been charged with murder after allegedly stabbing an American with a machete during a fare dispute.

Police said they arrested Cherdchai Utamacha in Bangkok over the weekend, hours after closed-circuit television footage showed him attacking Troy Lee Pilkington, an American citizen who had lived in Thailand for three years.

Authorities allege that Cherdchai told police he was infuriated after Pilkington accused him of cheating and threw coffee in his face as the two argued over how much the American owed for a taxi ride.

The fare was 51 Thai baht (about $1.60), according to police, who interrogated the driver.

Security camera footage helped police track down the suspect quickly, Col. Thawatkiet Jindakuansanong said.

"When we traced the man to a house in Bangkok, we still saw blood stains on his shirt (and) shoes," he said.

Police said the driver smacked and stabbed Pilkington multiple times. They have not released a cause of death pending autopsy results.

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