• Germany's news in English

US 'murder' gran 'had problems from WWII'

The Local · 31 Jul 2012, 09:50

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

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

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

>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
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd