‘Pizza Hut murder’ trial begins in Cologne

A trial began on Tuesday against a man who allegedly stabbed to death a Pizza Hut worker in Cologne in a dispute about his pizza.

‘Pizza Hut murder’ trial begins in Cologne
A photo of the Pizza Hut in Cologne Central Station. Photo: Toni S. / Wikimedia Commons.

A 27-year-old man identified by local newspaper Köln Stadt-Anzeiger as Mario F. was reportedly going to catch a train in November last year to see his new girlfriend when he stopped off at a Pizza Hut at the Cologne Central Train Station.

Mario F. ordered a pepperoni pizza but when his order arrived, he saw that it had far too much cheese for his taste.

He started to complain loudly and employee Marco H. stepped in to ask him to leave.

When the customer would not comply, the Pizza Hut employee tossed his hand luggage out the door.

The confrontation then escalated into a fight, reportedly culminating in customer Mario F. suddenly pulling out a knife and stabbing Marco H. in the chest. The Pizza Hut worker bled to death at the scene.

The court must review a psychiatric evaluation of Mario F. at the beginning of the trial. The accused reportedly had been drinking alcohol before the incident. Mario F. reports that he has gaps in his memory about the events due to drinking alcohol.


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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.