Australian Man Sentenced To DEATH In Thailand
Australian Antonio Bagnato has been found guilty and sentenced to death for his role in the abduction and murder of Sydney underworld figure Wayne Schneider at a Thai resort.
Bagnato, 28, was charged over the killing of the former Hells Angel bikie at a villa complex in the seaside resort of Pattaya, 150 kilometres from Bangkok, in 2015.
The kickboxer and one-time business associate of Schneider 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.
The judge, in a 40-minute reading of the verdict in Pattaya on Tuesday, found Bagnato guilty of all charges including assault, abduction and premeditated murder.
He said DNA and blood evidence had placed Bagnato at the scene of the crime and weapons used during the assault had been prepared beforehand.
Gerard was also found guilty but sentenced to three years jail reduced to two and including time already served.
At a court appearance in November, Bagnato was identified by two witnesses as being present during Schneider's abduction when he was bundled into a utility.
A GPS indicator fitted to the rental helped police locate the body in a shallow grave.
Bagnato and Schneider had been partners in a boxing gym in Sydney and were facing Australian police investigations linked to international drug trafficking and a separate murder in Australia.
Court reports said Schneider's death was linked to conflicts over drug deals in Europe.
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 years jail, suspended for two years after pleading guilty.