An Aussie has been given the death sentence in Thailand
Australian man Antonio Bagnato has been found guilty and sentenced to death by a Thai court for his role in the 2015 abduction and murder of Hells Angels gang member Wayne Schneider.
Antonio Bagnato, 28, was charged over the abduction and killing of Schneider, a former Hells Angel bikie, at a villa complex in the seaside resort of Pattaya, 150 kilometres from Bangkok, in 2015.
Bagnato, a kickboxer and one-time business associate of Shneider had pleaded not guilty.
He and 22-year-old American Tyler Gerard were arrested soon after the murder. Bagnato was detained in a hotel in Phnom Penh while Gerard was arrested as he attempted to cross the Thai border into Cambodia.
Schneider’s naked body was found days later in a shallow grave about 30 kilometres from the luxury villa where the initial assault occurred.
At a court appearance in November, Bagnato was identified by two witnesses as being present at the scene of Schneider’s abduction when he was bundled into a utility.
A GPS indicator fitted to the rental helped police locate the body.
Bagnato and Schneider had been partners in a boxing gym in Sydney and were facing Australian police investigations linked to international drug deals and a separate murder in Australia.
Court reports said Schneider’s death was linked to conflicts over drug deals.
Bagnato claimed that on the night of the assault he had already left the villa to visit a local disco. He said he stayed until 5am and then slept at a woman’s apartment until noon.
Australian man Luke Hunt has already been convicted by a Pattaya Court of aiding and abetting Bagnato by driving him and his family to the Cambodian border.
Hunt was sentenced to three months jail, suspended for two years after pleading guilty.