Two men convicted of kidnapping and murdering a teenager in Saxony last year were sentenced on Monday by a court in the city of Dresden.
Markus B., 40, was handed a life jail term for committing the murder and his accomplice Norbert K., 62, was given eight and a half years for failing to prevent the girl's death.
The 17-year-old Anneli-Marie R., the daughter of a successful German businessman, went missing one evening while walking her dog. Police discovered that she had been ambushed by the two kidnappers,who pulled her into their car and sped away.
They then used the girl's phone to call her parents and demanded a ransom of 1.2 million euros ($1.32 million).
Her parents reacted almost immediately, releasing a letter through the police that read: "The kidnappers should know that we will fulfil the stipulated demands in order to be able to have our child back in our arms soon."
Despite their promise to pay the ransom, the authorities found her body four days after her abduction near the eastern German city of Meissen following a manhunt that involved some 1,200 members of security services. She had been strangled with a plastic bag.
Through the course of the investigation, it became clear that Markus B., who has prior convictions ranging from sexual assault to arson and insurance fraud, killed Anneli after he panicked about being identified, as the criminals did not wear any disguise during the kidnapping.
The murderer had monitored the family for weeks, prosecutors said, and then convinced his friend that the ransom would make them both rich.
Accomplice denies foreknowledge
Norbert K. admitted to driving the car during the initial crime, but denied any knowledge of a plan to kill her.
State prosecutors disagreed, saying he "knew very well" about Markus B.'s plan and furthermore, had opportunity to save Anneli but failed to do so.
"Our lives have completely changed," Anneli's father had said during the trial. He, his wife, and Anneli's older sister all gave testimony during the proceedings.
es/rc (AFP, dpa)
culled - m.dw.com