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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Trial in Graz against schoolgirls for attempted murder

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Image: VOLKER Weihbold
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The young women are said to have attacked and injured three men with a knife in February 2022 while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. One of the two suffered 13 stab wounds and cuts to the chest, back and head, and the defense did not see the attacks as attempted murder under any circumstances.

The then just 18-year-old students are said to have attacked two men and a 17-year-old youth independently of each other in downtown Graz on the night of February 19, 2022 within an hour and a half. According to public prosecutor Reingard Wagner, there are three attempts at murder, whereby the first accused, who has a relevant criminal record, is said to have “only” made a contribution in some cases. The second accused is said to have stabbed or at least tried to in all three cases. In one case, a victim went through a veritable “death struggle,” the prosecutor said.

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“It is a coincidence that everything went relatively smoothly,” the prosecutor was convinced. “The victims defended themselves effectively,” said Wagner in the opening statement. All three escaped with minor injuries, none of the stab wounds were very deep, but in critical areas of the body such as the head, chest and upper body.

Both suspects had consumed a cocktail of alcohol and drugs before the attacks. This was also demonstrated in the blood samples. According to the report, the young women were therefore of reduced mental capacity. In addition, both apparently suffer from mental problems, according to the prosecutor. A referral to an institution for mentally abnormal lawbreakers was therefore in the room.

sanity is questioned

Defense attorney Christine Lanschützer initiated the defense: The process is about the question of sanity. Her client had thrown in “everything possible”. A witness found her “completely helpless” at Jakominiplatz a few hours earlier. Her client couldn’t even remember that. In addition to all the drugs she took that evening, there was also plenty of alcohol. “Both of them no longer knew what they were doing,” said the defender. She questioned the present report because not everything had been included. There can be no talk of a “death struggle” for the victims. Most of the men only suffered “scratches”. The man with the 13 stab wounds and cuts left the hospital a day later. The fact that the students could have hit the heart is purely hypothetical. “We’re a long way from killing.”

Bernhard Lehofer, the defense attorney for the second accused, saw things similarly. His client has not been blamed so far and was just in her high school year before she was arrested. “I think it’s unthinkable that they put up with someone dying that night.” The second accused was “a heap of misery” the day after the crime, weighed only 40 kilograms and “looked like a ghost”.

“13 stitches sounds like a massacre,” put Lehofer into perspective and continued: “An intention to injure, yes, there was, but that someone dies: never and never.” He also doubted that three times it was a coincidence that no one was seriously injured: “It wasn’t serious,” he was convinced.

After the opening speeches, the first defendant had his say before the lunch break. She pleaded partially guilty, although she had not been diagnosed with a mental illness. But she had already consumed drugs for the first time at the age of 14, and cocaine for the first time at 17. “I’m so sorry about everything. I didn’t want this to happen.” The 19-year-old admitted that she held the men down, but was shocked herself when her friend stabbed them.

When the accused remembered some details very well, but not others, the presiding judge Kornelia Philipp and assessor Barbara Schwarz became angry and remained stubborn. Under the pressure of the questioning, the accused finally burst into tears: she took a lot of drugs that evening and “I can’t remember a lot, I’m sorry.” Photos of the victim who suffered 13 stitches showed that the whole thing was probably not as harmless as the defense claimed. The judge pointed to the “gaping flesh wounds” on the man’s neck and forehead. In addition, the accused, who appeared reserved and polite in court, threatened an officer in 2020: “I’ll stab you.”

The process will continue on Friday and Monday.

Source: Nachrichten

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