American escapee pronounced dead
Fled Pattaya court to avoid trial on drug charge
published : 15 Nov 2019 at 17:06
writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
An American facing drug charges who shot himself and his Thai wife to avoid arrest after fleeing from Pattaya court last week was pronounced dead on Thursday.
Dr Puwadol Kittiwattanasarn, the Sakaeo Crown Prince Hospital director, said Bart Allen Helmus, 39, had been on life support since he was admitted and was pronounced dead at 6pm on Thursday.
His Thai wife, Sirinapa Wisetrit, 30, was now in police custody, he said.
Helmus, Ms Sirinapa and a third defendant, Noi Nilthes, fled from Pattaya Court on Nov 6 wih the help of outside friends. The fugitives were tracked to Watthana Nakhon district in Sa Kaeo province.
Pol Col Pirom Chantharapirom, the Muang police station chief of Sa Kaeo, said the United States embassy was notifying Helmus’s family of his death.
Helmus and his wife were in court on charges of possessing one kilogramme of crystal methamphetamine with intent to sell, and illegally possessing a firearm. In a separate case Mr Noi was charged with possessing crystal methamphetamine and ketamine for sale, and illegal possession of a firearm. All three defendants were liable to the death penalty if convicted.
The three faced five more charges resulting from their escape, including attempted murder of a police officer and the illegal use of weapons.