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ARBOGA MURDER TRIAL
German suspect 'should get life sentence'

German suspect 'should get life sentence'

Published: 26 Aug 2008 07:52 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Aug 2008 07:52 GMT+02:00

A German woman charged with the murder of the two children and the attempted murder of their mother in Arboga in central Sweden should be awarded a life sentence, a prosecutor argued as the case wound up on Monday, news agency TT reports.

The date of the verdict has yet to be announced.

Prosecutor Frieda Gummesson called for 32-year-old Christine Schürrer to spend her life behind bars or alternatively in psychiatric care, as the month-long trial in the Västmanland court, west of Stockholm, concluded.

Schürrer is suspected of "using a hammer or a hammer-like object" to bludgeon to death a nearly four-year-old boy and his almost two-year-old sister on March 17 in the small Swedish town of Arboga, and attempting to kill their 23-year-old mother, Emma Jangestig.

Jangestig is the live-in companion of a man Schürrer once dated.

The prosecution argued during the trial that Schürrer "had not gotten over the split from (him), still had feelings for (him) and was hurt that (he) was living as a family with Emma Jangestig and her children.

Schürrer denied all wrongdoing during the trial, which has dominated headlines in Sweden and Germany since its start on July 30.

The court on Monday ordered Schürrer to remain in custody, but said it would announce in the coming days whether she would be released pending the announcement of the verdict.

Schürrer's lawyer, Per-Ingvar Ekblad, called for his client to be acquitted, stressing there was no physical evidence to prove her guilt. There were no DNA traces linking her to the scene of the crime, and the murder weapon has not been found.

"Why would my client, who has a clean criminal record and who has a functioning social life, want to kill two small children," he argued.

He said the prosecution's theory of a crime of passion was "only a hypothesis."

The prosecution had however presented a witness -- a friend of Schürrer's -- who claimed that she had joked about getting rid of a hammer at Skavsta airport in Sweden.

The prosecution also argued that Schürrer had lied about her whereabouts on the day of the crime and refused to provide explanations about inconsistencies, including why there was information about Jangestig's family on her computer.

AFP/The Local

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

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