• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

US 'murder' gran 'had problems from WWII'

The Local · 31 Jul 2012, 09:50

Published: 31 Jul 2012 09:50 GMT+02:00

Marianne Bordt is accused of drowning her five-year-old American-born grandson Camden Hiers, in a bathtub while he was on holiday with her in Florida in 2010.

She was said to be distraught at the fact that his parents were divorced. Bordt then tried to kill herself but failed and was found by her husband.

The start of her trial was delayed when the prosecution asked for more time to prepare a rebuttal against the last-minute defence witness - a German-born psychoneurologist, local paper the Apalach Times reported last week.

Manfred Grieffenstein had carried out a series of tests on the 72-year-old and was expected to tell the Florida judge that she has mental problems which date back to an injury she suffered during World War II, the paper said.

He is expected to argue that Bordt suffered a head injury in a bombing raid by Russian forces on her hometown of Breslau on October 7, 1944. This, combined with symptoms of depression and paranoia contributed to the crime, he will argue, the paper said.

But the prosecution say they need time to find an expert in dementia and memory loss who could contradict Grieffenstein's argument, so the judge opted to postpone Monday's trial until both parties were ready.

The defence are pleading insanity and think she should be detained in a Florida mental hospital for the rest of her life. Prosecutors have called for the death penalty.

Judge Angela Dempsey has, according to the Apalach Times, encouraged the two sides to sit down and reach a deal outside of court. Continuing the trial would mean flying in German-speaking witnesses and end up very expensive, she said.

Story continues below…

Bordt, from village of Nufringen, near Stuttgart, is being held at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. She speaks no English, and has had extensive counselling to help her cope with the stress of the trial.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:09 July 31, 2012 by wenddiver
Evil. Zap.
12:21 July 31, 2012 by MattyB
Pursuing the death penalty for a 72 year old woman?
14:46 July 31, 2012 by William Thirteen
that's the American way! (well to be fair, it's also the Chinese and Iranian way)
15:26 July 31, 2012 by heathen
@billy 13:

as opposed to the german way --- 2-3 years ... let off with time served pending trial...

good ol' american adage: don't do the crime if you can't do the time
15:53 July 31, 2012 by wenddiver
@Matty B- No she is not being tried for being for being 72 or a woman. Florida is pursuing the death penalty against her becaus she committed a really vile murder of a child. What do you propose that they only hold young males responsible for their crimes? Murder is a horrible crime and the citizens of Florida have enacted laws that they will hold themselves accountable with their lives if they commit it.
16:32 July 31, 2012 by ND1000
@billy13

America still has a long way to go before they reach the amount of horrors, murders, executions, etc. committed by good ol England, France, and Germany.
17:35 July 31, 2012 by Beachrider
@william

Nothing like some ameriphobe fascism in the morning, eh?
17:47 July 31, 2012 by friedenstempel
Breslau, that alone is telling.
18:16 July 31, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Chattahoochee, that alone is telling
13:26 August 1, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
@MattyB:

>Pursuing the death penalty for a 72 year old woman?

yeah... that's like throwing somebody out of a movie theater ten minutes before the end of the movie. Just wait a little while and the problem will solve itself.

And besides, I read somewhere that the average amount of time an inmate spends on death row before their sentence is administered is close to ten years. If this trial drags on some more, she could easily be 85 before she's due for execution. So what's really the point... if she is guilty, just lock her up and let nature take its course.
Today's headlines
What we know about the Reutlingen machete attack
Police arrest the attacker. Photo: DPA

... and what we don't.

Munich shooting
Police arrest possible accomplice of Munich gunman
Mourners in Munich. Photo: DPA

Authorities in Munich believe that a friend of the teenager who murdered nine people at a Munich shopping centre may have known about his plans.

Ansbach suicide attack
What we know about the Ansbach suicide bomber
The attacker's rucksack. Photo: DPA

He had had his asylum application rejected and had twice attempted suicide, say authorities.

Ansbach suicide attack
Suicide bomber attacks bar in Bavaria
Photo: DPA

A Syrian migrant set off an explosion at a bar in southern Germany that killed himself and wounded a dozen others late Sunday, authorities said, the third attack to hit Bavaria in a week.

 'One dead and two injured' in Germany machete attack
News channel NTV said there were scenes of panic in the city centre following the attack. Photo: DPA

A 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker killed a woman and injured two people with a machete Sunday in the southwest German city of Reutlingen in an incident local police said did not bear the hallmarks of a "terrorist attack".

Munich gunman planned attacks for one year: officials
Vigils continue in Munich to commemorate the victims, seven of whom were teenagers. Photo: DPA

The teenage gunman who killed nine people in Munich on Friday had been planning his attack for a year, according to German authorities.

Germany grapples with enigma of Munich gunman
A debate is already underway as to whether Germany's gun laws, which are already strict, should be tightened further. Photo: AFP

Investigators were seeking clues on Sunday into the mind of gunman David Ali Sonboly, the teen author of one of Germany's bloodiest killing sprees.

Munich shooting
 Social media a blessing and a curse in Munich shooting
The Munich gunman may have hacked a Facebook account to lure some of the victims to the McDonald's fast-food outlet where the shooting began. Photo: DPA

Social networks were both a curse and a blessing in the deadly shopping mall shooting in Munich, as police sometimes found themselves chasing fictitious leads and false alarms.

Munich shooting
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Munich shooting
Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,742
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd