Singapore — In an update to the killing of a 13-year-old River Valley High School student that shocked Singapore on Monday (Jul 19), a 16-year-old boy, also a student at the school, has been charged with murder.
The accused teen remains unnamed in the press because of his young age.
Appearing in court via video link, the teen was charged with one count of murder in a district court on Tuesday morning (Jul 20).
He was represented in court by his lawyer, Mr Peter Keith Fernando.
The teen, who has a history of having made a suicide attempt in 2019, was recommended by the prosecution for remand at Changi Medical Centre (CMC) for psychiatric observation.
He had a previous assessment at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) following his suicide attempt.
Mr Fernando said that the teen’s parents had informed him of the boy’s past mental troubles.
The prosecutor on the case said, “Given the circumstances, we are submitting that he requires psychiatric evaluation.”
The teen will be kept at CMC for the time being and will reappear in court on Aug 10.
As he is under the age of 18, the boy cannot receive the death penalty. He could, however, be incarcerated for life.
The teen, a Secondary 4 student, was arrested on Monday afternoon on the suspicion that he had been involved in the death of the younger boy.
The police said in a statement on Monday (Jul 18), that they received a call for assistance at 6 Boon Lay Avenue. Upon arrival, officers found the 13-year-old boy lying motionless, with multiple wounds, in a toilet.
A paramedic from the Singapore Civil Defence Force pronounced the younger teen dead at the scene.
According to preliminary investigations, the two boys, who are both Singaporeans, did not know each other.
Police also seized an axe in connection to the murder.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam commented on the tragic death of the younger teen in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning, calling hearing the death of their child “one of the worst things that can happen to parents.”
He underlined the shocking nature of the crime, as “safety is assumed and normally (in Singapore anyway) assured.”
“As AGC (the Attorney-General’s Chambers) told the court, there is some history of mental health issues. There are questions being asked about how the boy got an axe. Preliminary investigations suggest that he purchased it online.
But we will know the full facts only after investigations are completed. We all grieve with the parents of the boy who was killed. It’s difficult to even describe the true extent of their grief,” the Minister added. /TISG
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