Thai officer pleads guilty in Calgarian's death, says father

The father of a Calgary man slain in Thailand says he has been informed the off-duty police officer charged in the death has pleaded guilty.

Off-duty police officer changed his plea in Leo Del Pinto's 2008 death

The father of a man killed in Thailand in 2008 reacts to news that the man accused in the death has pleaded guilty. 1:45

The father of a Calgary man slain in Thailand says he has been informed the off-duty police officer charged in the death has pleaded guilty.

Leo Del Pinto was shot in the torso and face during a scuffle in January 2008 outside a bar in Pai in northern Thailand. (Courtesy of Ross Fortune)

Leo Del Pinto, who was 25, died after being shot in the face and chest in a northern Thailand town in January 2008.

His friend, Carly Reisig of British Columbia, was also hit once in the chest but survived.

Ernie Del Pinto says he has received an email from Canadian Foreign Affairs informing him that Sgt. Uthai Dechawiwat had changed his plea to guilty on July 2.

Ernie says he feels some closure at the news but it won't bring back his son.

"There is never conclusion to death," he said. "My son is gone. I'll always remember my son. There will be a little bit of closure now that I know I have gotten a killer off the street." 

He plans to fly to Thailand later this month with his wife to attend the Aug. 20 sentencing.

Ernie said Dechawiwat is also serving a sentence for the murder of his wife.