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Leo Del Pinto, shown in an undated family photo, died in Thailand in January 2008 during a scuffle with an off-duty police officer. ((Ross Fortune))

A Thai police officer charged in the death of a Calgary man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing his pregnant wife.

Uthai Dechawiwat pleaded guilty to clubbing his 18-year-old wife to death two weeks after their wedding.

The police sergeant is also charged in the off-duty shooting of 25-year-old Leo Del Pinto, who was visiting a town in northern Thailand in January 2008.

Del Pinto's family members said they are happy to see some form of justice served, but added that their son's case is taking too long to get through Thailand's courts.

A pretrial hearing isn't expected to wrap up until April.

Del Pinto's friend, Chilliwack, B.C., resident Carly Reisig, was also wounded in the shooting.

Thai police initially said that Del Pinto and Reisig had a fight while drinking at a bar. The fight escalated outside and turned physical when a police officer tried to intervene, according to Col. Sombat Panya of Pai district in northern Mae Hong Son.

Dechawiwat told Thai investigators the pair attacked him when he tried to intervene, and that his gun "accidentally went off" three times as he tried to defend himself.

But according to Reisig, there was no fight.

She said she was talking to Del Pinto when a man punched her in the forehead. She said Del Pinto defended her by shoving the man, who got a gun from his motorcycle.

The two men struggled for control of the gun before the man shot them both, she said.

Del Pinto had only been in Thailand for a week before he was killed. He had spent almost six months in the country the previous year, working as a translator in a tattoo shop and trying to find a job teaching English.