SINGAPORE: A teenager who was originally accused of murdering a 13-year-old boy at River Valley High School in July 2021 has had his charge amended to culpable homicide.
The teen, who turned 18 in January, was given an amended charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The charge reads that he caused the death of a 13-year-old boy inside a toilet on the fourth floor of Block D in River Valley High School.
The accused was 16 when he allegedly slashed the head, neck and body of the victim with an axe measuring 50cm by 22cm between 11.16am and 11.44am on Jul 19, 2021.
He did so with the intention of causing the boy’s death, the charge sheet stated.
On Friday (Feb 24), the accused returned to court via video-link from his place of remand.
His head was shaven and he wore a mask and white shirt.
Lawyer Joyce Khoo of Quahe Woo & Palmer reminded the court of the gag order in place, which forbids publication of the accused’s identity, photo or anything likely to lead to his identification.
The case was adjourned to April.
If convicted of committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder, he can be sentenced to life imprisonment with caning or imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine or caning.
A murder charge carries the death penalty. However, according to Section 314 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a sentence of death cannot be passed or recorded against an accused person who was below 18 at the time of the offence.
Instead, he or she will be sentenced to life imprisonment.