Crime: Trier amok driver sentenced to the maximum penalty – entertainment

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Attorney Frank K. Peter said the defense will now consider whether to appeal. “I assume that yes. In view of the particular gravity of the guilt to be discussed.”

Paranoid schizophrenia and delusions

According to Judge Schmitz, the 52-year-old suffers from paranoid schizophrenia with bizarre delusions – and is dangerous to the public. He sees himself as the victim of a “large-scale conspiracy” by the state against him, feels persecuted and observed. He used to have all his teeth pulled because he thought there were surveillance sensors in them. Or fought for 500,000 euros that he was supposedly entitled to from a series of tests with radioactive substances.

In recent years he has developed a hatred of society, said Schmitz. “He always blames others.” For him, the rampage was an “act of revenge on society” in which he chose victims arbitrarily. The goal was to kill or injure as many people as possible.

Five people died in the act: a nine-week-old baby, his father (45) and three women aged 73, 52 and 25.

car as a weapon

The act in which he used the car as a weapon was insidious: he took advantage of the suspicion and defenselessness and caught most of the victims on the back. “There was no escape possible,” said Schmitz. And he planned the rampage: He had previously announced it to acquaintances. At the time of the crime, the trained electrician was single, unemployed and without a permanent address.

The bereaved and those affected are relieved that the process is over after a year, said Bernd Steinmetz for the Disaster Aftercare Foundation. “It’s been a burden now for a long time.” Now begins a new phase of processing for those affected. The terrible act will always be part of her life.

Wolfgang Hilsemer, who lost his sister (73) in the rampage and was a joint plaintiff in the process, can live with the judge’s verdict. “I’m happy with that,” he said. “The most important thing for me is that he doesn’t come out anymore.” He is also glad that he no longer has to see the gunman.

Petra Lieser, the mother of the killed student, said after the verdict with tears in her eyes: “It’s good that he’s gone. I also have a life sentence.”

traumatic experiences

The amok trial began on August 19, 2021. More than 100 witnesses were heard. They talked about their traumatic experiences. How the man purposefully approached his victims, hitting, injuring and killing people. They also reported how heavily the experience weighed on them to this day: the images kept coming back, they remembered the screams from back then.

If the judgment becomes final, according to the public prosecutor’s office, the measure of placement in a psychiatric ward will first be enforced. It applies indefinitely. Should an expert at some point come to the conclusion that the man is cured, the normal prison system will follow.

In the case of life imprisonment, after 15 years it will be checked for the first time whether a suspension is justifiable, said senior public prosecutor Samel. In the case of the particular severity of the guilt, it is unlikely that it will be discussed at all.

The victim commissioner of the Rhineland-Palatinate state government, Detlef Placzek, said: “The verdict is an opportunity for all those affected to be able to put an end to the experiences of December 1, 2020. A path from law to justice has been found.”