Der Spiegel reported on Saturday it had received confirmation from the prosecutor that Brunner, whose death at the Solln train station last September shocked the country, had suffered from an extremely enlarged heart – and died of heart failure.
The 50-year-old manager had intervened when he saw the now 19-year-old Markus Schiller and 18-year-old Sebastian Leibinger intimidating and trying to extort money from a group of children on a commuter train.
He offered to escort the children from the station, but the older pair followed him and an altercation followed, in which the court heard Brunner hit out first, but was then overpowered by the two teenagers. They continued to kick and punch him ever after he had hit his head on a metal handrail and fallen to the ground, the court heard.
Prosecutors had been aiming for a murder conviction, but this was made significantly more difficult by the testimony that Brunner had hit first, and could be completely torpedoed by this latest admission.
Der Spiegel reported that Brunner did not suffer any broken bones which could have led to his death during the attack. And the fact he had an enlarged heart has until now been kept from the public.
The magazine said the prosecution had formulated its charges in a vague fashion, saying that Brunner died ‘from the consequences of the attack of the accused’.