A court in southern Vietnam on Friday sentenced a teenager to 18 years' imprisonment for killing his mother to rob her gold jewelries in March.
Nguyen Kha Dat, who turned 18 last month, killed his mother after she refused to buy him a motorbike, according to an indictment read at the trial at the People's Court of Kien Giang Province.
The judge ruled that the murder was "inhumane," and handed Dat the highest punishment for murder by one under 18 years old.
The murder took place on March 5, 2015, when Dat was at home with his mother, Nguyen Thi Mai Trinh, 42, while his father and sister were away.
Dat told the court that she was scolding him for repeatedly asking her for money. She pulled his hair, which caused him to drop his mobile phone.
Dat said he was "infuriated" and fought back, pushing her to the wall. When she fell and had a seizure, he hit her many times on the head and face with a wood log about 0.6 meter long until she died.
He hid her corpse in a pottery water storage jar in the backyard, and took her gold necklace, bracelet and earrings, which he later sold for cash and bought two motorbikes worth a total of VND50 million.
The father, Nguyen Van Lep, told the court that he did not suspect a murder in the family.
The water storage jar in which Kha Dat hid his mother's corpse. Photo courtesy of K.Nam/Tuoi Tre.
Lep said when his wife disappeared, Dat told him she was angry with his drinking habit, so she left him and smashed her mobile phone so he could not call her.
Dat also told Lep that the jar in the backyard was stinky because he fed live fish to scorpions there.
Lep said he did not doubt what Dat told him. He even helped his son buy a new motorbike, and kept drinking as usual.
Lep only found his wife's corpse in the jar 23 days later, on March 28, when he tried to locate the source of the foul smell.
When he was taken in as the main suspect, Dat even told the police that Lep killed his mother. However, Dat later changed the testimony, fearing that his father may commit suicide out of despair.