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Crime scene in Lichtenfels in March 2023: Act of violence against a saleswoman

Photo: Daniel Vogl/dpa

The Coburg regional court in Bavaria sentenced an 18-year-old to nine and a half years in prison for killing a flower seller in Lichtenfels, Franconia. The young man was found guilty of murder in conjunction with robbery resulting in death.

The court found it proven that the teenager had specifically stabbed the 50-year-old in order to get the money from the store's cash register, as a spokesman said. The murder characteristics of greed, treachery and the intention to make another crime possible through the killing were fulfilled.

According to the verdict, the defendant had planned to rob a shop in Lichtenfels in order to be able to pay the 300 euro fee for purchasing a fishing license. The court was convinced that he could have borrowed the money from relatives or paid the course fee in installments.

Defendant fully guilty

In the flower shop he decided to stab the saleswoman in order to steal the day's income. He gave the woman several targeted stabs in the throat and neck, from which she died. He then took the money from the cash register and fled. He was arrested two weeks later and the murder weapon was found at his home.

The defendant stated that he first took the money from the cash register. It was only during a scuffle with the woman that he stabbed her out of panic. The court did not follow this version. The traces secured at the crime scene indicated that the teenager had already stabbed the woman before reaching into the cash register. The stabs were also very targeted and could not have been caused during a fight. A psychiatric expert had certified that the defendant was fully responsible in a report.

“Anger and frustration” as a motif

With the verdict, the chamber fell only slightly short of the prosecutor's request, which had called for a youth sentence of ten years. The defense requested a conviction for manslaughter in conjunction with robbery resulting in death, but not for murder.

The 18-year-old asked for an apology from the bereaved during the non-public process. The defendant cited anger and frustration as the motive for the attack that the money he had saved up for the fishing course had allegedly been stolen by a family member.