The accused was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of two police officers near Kusel (Rhineland-Palatinate) at the end of January. The district court of Kaiserslautern also determined on Wednesday that the guilt was particularly serious. A release of the 39-year-old after 15 years in prison is therefore ruled out.
A 24-year-old police officer and a 5-year-old police commissioner were shot in the head during the night-time crime on a remote county road in the western Palatinate. The bloody deed during a vehicle inspection had caused horror across the country.
The public prosecutor assumes that the main defendant wanted to cover up poaching with the crime. At the time of the crime, 22 freshly shot deer are said to have been lying in the van.
The district court found a co-defendant guilty of complicity in commercial poaching. However, it refrained from punishment because the 33-year-old had already testified extensively before the trial began. He was said to have contributed to the investigation of the crime. The man is said to have helped remove the traces, but did not shoot. The two men were arrested shortly after the crime in neighboring Saarland.
Judgment not yet final
The main defendant testified in the trial that the police patrol surprised the two men. "Suddenly" his accomplice at the time first shot the policewoman with a shotgun and then shot the policeman. The policeman then began to shoot: He (39) therefore killed the 29-year-old with three shots from a hunting rifle in a kind of self-defense situation. However, the court did not follow this version.
The police commissioner fired 15 shots from the service weapon, but did not hit the shooter on the rainy January night.
With the verdict, the court followed the request of the public prosecutor. The prosecution had said that there were several characteristics of murder in the act and that the act had "executive character" - so the guilt was particularly serious.
The defense had pleaded for "a fair verdict" without making any specific demands. From her point of view, the act was "not murder, maximum bodily harm resulting in death". The verdict is not yet legally binding.
Chief of Police: "We respect the verdict"
After the verdict in the police murder trial, Kaiserslautern police chief Michael Denne thought of the police officers killed. "We respect the verdict," said the head of the West Palatinate police headquarters on Wednesday. The two police officers would be missing. "That doesn't change anything. Our thoughts are with them and the bereaved."
The director of the Rhineland-Palatinate Police College, Uwe Lederer, said: "The terrible act hit us deeply." The two police officers would "remain in all of our memories". The two and another 45 colleagues will be commemorated at a memorial erected on the Hahn campus for colleagues killed on duty.
Nancy Faeser also commemorates the victims. The SPD politician said on Wednesday that she was primarily thinking of the victims of "this terrible act" on the occasion of the verdict. The two police officers "were brutally and unscrupulously murdered in the line of duty." To this day, people are "horrified that a supposedly routine check can turn into a deadly trap."
The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer (SPD), said that the verdict "is the end of a process that first and foremost put a strain on the relatives and friends, but also on the colleagues of the killed police officer." Not only was a loved one taken away from you. "The terrible events came back to me over and over again," said Dreyer.
According to Interior Minister Michael Ebling (SPD), the verdict cannot alleviate "the immeasurable suffering of the relatives". "Two people are missing. My thoughts are with the bereaved and the members of our police family," said Ebling in Mainz. The large number of expressions of condolence showed "how much this brutal and senseless act has moved people".