Businessman sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering wife's ex-lover, nearly every bone in victim's face fractured

A businessman was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court on Friday (Aug 4) for the murder of his wife’s ex-lover. 

The accused, Chia Kee Chen, 57, had been found guilty in January of forcing the victim, Dexmon Chua Yizhi, 37, into a van, where he assaulted him.

The victim was tied up and brutally battered, until almost every bone in his face was fractured, reports The Straits Times

The harrowing incident happened between Dec 28 and Dec 29, 2013.

Chia had two accomplices, Indonesian Febri Irwansyah Djatmiko, and Chua Leong Aik, who served as the driver of the van. 

Febri has since absconded, while Chua is serving a five-year jail term. 

Justice Choo Han Teck in handing out the sentencing, said that although Chia had the motive and intention to kill, it could have been Febri who delivered the fatal blow. 

Chia’s lawyer told reporters that Chia was relieved to have escaped the death sentence. 

In July 2017, the prosecution asked for Chia to be given the death sentence due to the ‘savage’ and ‘cruel’ nature of his crimes. 

Chia had discovered that his wife was having an affair in November 2012, after which the victim lodged police reports, claiming that Chai had made threatening phone calls, and stalked him. 

On the day of the incident, Chia attended a wedding lunch with his family.

He then took a nap before collecting the borrowed van. 

Chia subsequently drove to a carpark in Choa Chu Kang where he waited for the victim to show up, before coercing him into the back of the van.

After killing the victim, the trio dumped his body at a military live-firing area in Lim Chu Kang.

Chia then cleaned the van and went for a vacation with his family to Malaysia. 

Chia said during the trial that he and his accomplices were attempting to retrieve a thumb drive containing an explicit video of his wife having intercourse.

He also attributed the blame to a man called ‘Ali’ and downplayed his involvement in the murder. 

The defence lawyer noted that there were disparities between the accounts of Febri, who submitted his testimony though the Indonesia police, and that of Chua Leong Aik, asking for Chia to be given life imprisonment instead.

However, Chia’s lawyer argued that his client’s plan was only to abduct the victim, and there was no conclusive evidence that Chia had intended to commit murder.