A bar musician accused of stabbing an American tourist to death in southern Thailand has been released on bail, police said Friday.
Police Col. Boontawee Toraksa said three band members at a bar in the southern resort town of Ao Nang were arrested after the attack early Wednesday on Bobby Ray Carter Jr., 51, a Texas resident. He said they were charged with causing death by physical attack, punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment.
Boontawee said a court granted bail Thursday to the man who allegedly stabbed Carter, Ratikorn Romin, 27, over police objections, while his band mates were ordered held.
Police said Carter argued with the musicians in the bar where they had been playing and was stabbed with an iron rod during a confrontation when they went outside.
The dead man's son, Adam Carter, 27, was wounded in the arm and was treated at a hospital and released.
A woman who described herself as Carter's cousin, Kiki Bower of Dallas, Texas, said that according to Carter's wife Kelly, who was present during the incident, Bower had not provoked the violence.
Police said Carter's wife and son were to be interviewed Friday, but details of their testimony were not available. They did not respond to repeated requests for interviews, and Bower said they were too distraught to talk to reporters.
Police said Thursday that according to their preliminary investigation, Carter was drunk, began singing with the band and refused to leave the stage to let other customers sing.
"Witnesses said Carter got angry when the band played `Hotel California' instead of the song he requested, and he refused to step down," police chief Col. Taksin Pochakorn said. He said the band then stopped playing and Carter and his son got into an argument with the musicians.
"We appreciate the swift action by the Thai police to capture the three men who took Bobby's life and are calling on the Thai justice system to hold these criminals accountable to the fullest extent of the law for this senseless loss of life," Bower said in an email.
KDFW FOX 4
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