In mid-October 2019, this case caused quite a stir. A German-Afghan who was 18 years old at the time of the crime was charged with manslaughter. He was recently acquitted in the trial before the juvenile court, as the Karlsruhe Regional Court has only now confirmed upon inquiry. “The chamber assumes that he was acting in self-defense,” explained a spokeswoman.
The 31-year-old man from the Heidelberg area, who died on the spot from severe cuts to his neck, was considered the main aggressor. This was based on several witness statements and the defendant’s own statement. According to the Regional Court, the verdict was given a few weeks ago in the main trial.The public prosecutor’s office had demanded two years juvenile sentence on probation for dangerous bodily injury with fatal consequences, explains Mirko Heim, spokesman for the Karlsruhe public prosecutor’s office, when asked. This means that the public prosecutor’s office assumed that the 18-year-old had no intent to kill.All men involved in the conflict in Ettlinger Street in Langensteinbach were of Afghan origin. Contrary to initial assumptions, however, they were not asylum seekers. They had clashed in two groups of three on a Monday evening. Four of the six men had already committed criminal offences before the stabbing. The police assumed that not only did those involved in the fight know each other, but that a dispute had existed before. This assumption was proven in the court proceedings.Background of the argument was jealousy, explains public prosecutor Mirko Heim. But he could not say anything more precise. According to information from newspaper BNN, the killed man was accused of flirting with the girlfriend of a young man from the other group.Initially two 18-year-old men were suspected of manslaughter. They had fled after the stabbing, and the police tracked them down in a garden hut near the school center in Langensteinbach.In the end, one of them was released from custody – against the decision of the public prosecutor’s office. The prosecution argued that it was not exactly clear who had carried the murder weapon and who had made the fatal stabbing. The magistrate saw it differently.
The murder weapon, a pocket knife, had in the end led the suspicion on the accused, explains the chief prosecutor Mirko Heim. It was found several days after the crime at the place of arrest. Traces of fibers and DNA of the 18-year-old defendant were found on the knife.
In the trial “a large number of witnesses” were heard. In total, there had been legal proceedings against five of the accused – four of them, however, were suspended for lack of sufficient grounds for suspicion. In the meantime, the acquittal is legally binding.