Teen who killed 13-year-old at River Valley High School gets charge downgraded from murder to culpable homicide

The teen who was accused of murder in July 2021 has had his charge downgraded to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

While a murder charge carries the death penalty, according to Section 314 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it cannot apply to an accused below the age of 18 at the time the offence happened. 

The new charge means he will be looking at life imprisonment with caning or imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine or caning.

In 2021, the then 16-year-old killed a 13-year-old boy inside the toilet with an axe. 

According to the charge sheet, it read that he did that with the intention of causing the boy’s death. He did not know the victim. 

Singapore’s education minister Chan Chun Sing described the event as a “tragic incident.”

The teen – now 18 years old – returned to court today (Feb. 24) via video from his place of remand. 

Due to a gag order, the accused’s identity and name is protected. 

It is established from previous court sessions that the teen was a patient at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). The police also got involved in 2019 when he attemped suicide.

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