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Taxi driver killer confesses 15 years later

The Local · 20 May 2011, 12:24

Published: 20 May 2011 12:24 GMT+02:00

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Now 35, a man named only as Anton F., told a judge in Brandenburg how he killed the driver, whose death was never solved by the authorities, Der Spiegel magazine reported on its website on Friday.

"Without his confession it is certain that the case would never have been solved," said judge Sabine Schwesig as she jailed him for five-and-a-half years on Thursday.

She called the case “relatively unusual” in that it was a crime committed by a teenager, but she was judging a grown man. But said she had to mete out justice and convicted him of manslaughter and sent him to prison.

Back in 1994, Anton F.was 19 and freshly moved from Kazakhstan to Brandenburg state when he decided to run off from the taxi without paying the fare after an evening spent drinking.

But the driver, named only as Kurt H., caught him and would not let him flee. Anton F. said he stabbed the driver in the neck with a kitchen knife he had in his pocket.

In the ensuing struggle, the driver hit him over the head with a chunk of wood and then Anton F. said he grabbed a piece of wood and smashed the driver over the head several times.

He then told the court he set fire to the taxi and fled. He only realised the man had died when he later saw local taxis decorated with mourning colours.

Der Spiegel reported that Anton F. later moved to North Rhine-Westphalia where he started a family, but was plagued with problems, split from his girlfriend and was at one point diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

It is not known whether his mental illness was connected to the continuing guilt he carried about the taxi driver.

Last October he cancelled his phone and electricity contracts and went to initially sceptical police to admit his crime.

It is not clear why Anton F. decided to admit to the killing so long after the fact.

Story continues below…

But his lawyer told Spiegel his client was a man of conscience, even once returning a wallet filled with €400 to its rightful owner without being asked.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:42 May 20, 2011 by William Thirteen
he's obviously learned something in Germany since arriving - better to cancel the phone & strom contracts now. getting in trouble with the police for murder is one thing - but you never want to cross the telephone or electricity companies!
18:54 May 20, 2011 by wood artist
For the relatives of the victim, I hope this brings some closure. For the criminal I hope he find relief from the burden of carrying this around. I glad he made the decision to come forward. I'm equally sorry he made the tragic mistake years ago.

19:29 May 20, 2011 by bigpainingermany
I only hope that the unexplaind death of my daughter will come out one day.
21:34 May 20, 2011 by finanzdoktor
@bigpainingermany: I hope so, too.

Interesting, did the judge sentence him as an adult or a teenager? 5.5 years for manslaughter after stabbing and repeatably beating the taxi driver to death. Interesting.
13:20 May 21, 2011 by iseedaftpeople

looks like he was sentenced according to juvenile law. Which proivides a maximum sentence of 10 years for murder. I think I read elsewhere that he was actually convicted of manslaughter, a lesser crime than murder, which would explain why he only got five and a half years.
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