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CRIME

Teen admits to murdering child and school friend in case that shook Germany

Six months after a brutal double murder in the western town of Herne, the trial began on Friday of a 19-year-old defendant.

Teen admits to murdering child and school friend in case that shook Germany
Marcel H. in court on Friday. Photo: DPA

“The defendant wants to say that he does not dispute the charge,” defendant Marcel H.’s lawyer said at the beginning of proceedings at the Bochum state court.

But defence gave no further details about the alleged murders, nor did they respond to the prosecution's description of Marcel H.'s life before the murders.

The 19-year-old is accused of murdering his 8-year-old neighbour Jaden on March 6th in the town of Herne in North Rhine-Westphalia, before stabbing a 22-year-old school friend called Christopher to death two days later. He allegedly also posted a picture of the murder of Jaden online shortly after he committed the crime.

Prosecutors argue that the teenager convinced Jaden to come into his house on the pretext of helping him hold a ladder. But when inside he stabbed the boy 52 times. Prosecutors say he acted out of blood lust, Spiegel reports.

News initially broke of the murder when disturbing photographs appeared online, including a selfie appearing to depict the bloody suspect with the boy's body, and an audio message purporting to be the suspect describing the act in a “cold-blooded” manner, as police described at the time.

An internet user alerted police to the pictures, who found Jaden’s body in the basement.

According to prosecutors, Marcel H. then convinced a former school friend that he needed a place to stay, as his parents were out of town. But on the next day, the 22-year-old friend found out that police were searching for Marcel H. and threatened to inform them of his whereabouts.

The defendant allegedly responded by stabbing him 68 times and leaving him to bleed to death. Two days later he set the apartment on fire in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

Marcel H. eventually handed himself in to police, calling them from a restaurant to say that he was the person they were looking for. He had already admitted to the crimes while in police custody.

The trial is scheduled to last until the middle of October.

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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