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CRIME

Bodenfelde child-killer gets life sentence

The 26-year-old man who killed two teenagers and cannibalized their bodies in Bodenfelde in Lower Saxony was sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday, with additional preventive detention that means he is likely never to be released.

Bodenfelde child-killer gets life sentence
Photo: DPA

A court in Göttingen delivered the sentence Monday morning. The sentence actually goes beyond that which prosecutors and the families had asked for.

Judge Ralf Günther also committed killer Jan O. to psychiatric treatment and ordered that he be subject to preventative detention. Although an inmate serving a life sentence may eventually be eligible for parole, Jan O. would be detained longer if deemed a threat by experts, meaning he is unlikely ever to be released.

He is to be sent to a psychiatric facility to serve his sentence.

In a case that shocked the country, Jan O. killed Nina, 14, and Tobias, 13, in November last year and left their bodies in a wooded area just outside the town of Bodenfelde. In his detailed confession, Jan O. admitted to carrying out cannibalistic and vampiristic acts on the children both before and after they were dead.

Günther described the crimes as “excessively violent” and “a just about unimaginable dimension of injustice.”

In reaching the sentence, the court took into account Jan O.’s written and verbal confessions and his freely given account of the crimes’ details.

But the court went beyond the sentence demanded by the state prosecution and the lawyers for the children’s parents, both of whom had asked for a 15-year sentence along with psychiatric treatment and subsequent preventive detention. They accepted that Jan O. had diminished responsibility.

Jan O.’s defence had also agreed to a 15-year sentence though without preventative detention, arguing that the placement in psychiatric treatment would ensure he would not be released if he were still considered dangerous.

During the trial, he apologised to the children’s families and expressed remorse, saying, “I don’t know what came over me.”

DAPD/The Local/djw

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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