Man accused of killing Thai wife prosecuted for abuse in US

BANGKOK (AP) – A United States (US) citizen charged with killing his pregnant Thai wife in Thailand was accused of attempting to kill what appears to be the same woman while living in Colorado in 2019.

Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, was arrested on Thursday in the northern city of Chiang Mai and confessed to killing Pitchaporn Kidchob, 32,  Chief of Provincial Police Region 5’s Detective Department Major General Weerachon Boontawee said on Friday. It is not clear whether he had a lawyer representing him.

The name of the woman Balzer was accused of attempting to kill while living in Longmont, Colorado, was redacted from court records.

However, a spokesperson for the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Shannon Carbone, said the victim in the domestic violence case and the woman killed in Thailand have the same name and appear to be the same person based on photographs of her in the media.

The office has not received any official information about the victim in Thailand, she said.

Police arrest Jason Matthew Balzer in Chiang Mai province northern Thailand. PHOTO: AP

According to court documents, the victim met Balzer around 2017 and later left Thailand to live with him in the US.

In 2019, after the victim rebuffed Balzer’s attempt to get intimate, he allegedly grabbed her arms, hit her in the face and slammed her head repeatedly into a headboard in the bedroom of their apartment before pointing a gun at her and saying “I will kill you,” an arrest affidavit said.

According to the document, the victim pushed the gun away, and it fired a shot next to her head. She escaped while Balzer tried to cover up bullet holes in the wall.

She also told police that Balzer strangled her two weeks before during an argument in which he accused her of cheating on him.

While Balzer was charged with attempted second-degree murder, he was able to plead guilty to a lesser charge of third-degree assault because the victim went back to Thailand and did not want to return to Colorado to testify, Carbone said.

He was sentenced to probation, including domestic violence treatment, she said.

“This murder highlights the danger of domestic violence as well as the potential for lethality that can often exist for victims. Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones; it is a very tragic case. We hope that he will be held fully responsible for the murder,” she said.