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Trial starts in teenage murder tragedy

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15:40 CEST+02:00
The teenage couple accused of the murder of the girl's mother made their first court appearance today at the district court in Värnamo, Småland. The 17 year old girl and her 18 year old boyfriend both pleaded guilty through their lawyers to the murder, as well as the attempted murder of her father and sister.

Both the defence lawyers and the representatives of the girl's sister requested questioning of the family members occur behind closed doors.

Prosecutor, Anders Brokelind, then told the court how the couple had planned for several weeks to murder the girl's parents, three older siblings and grandmother in order to inherit the parents' money.

Brokelind remarked that the case was first and foremost a family tragedy. Reports in the Swedish press have described a desperately unhappy couple, who felt completely failed and unloved.

The couple met on the internet two years ago and dreamt of having plastic surgery to change their appearance. They also wanted to live in a Buddhist temple in Japan and learn martial arts.

They isolated themselves increasingly from the outside world and their families, until the girl left home and started living with her boyfriend with his father in Stockholm. They then spent six weeks planning the murder. They hoped to inherit the girl's family wealth, accumulated from a business they owned, to finance their dreams.

During this period, the couple made serious attempts to find a killer to carry out their plan. But their efforts resulted only in an accusation of conspiracy to murder, which police in Jönköping ignored.

Ultimately, they decided to carry out the plan themselves. On 19th April, they bought a hammer and a knife and took the train from Stockholm to the girl's family home in Gislaved.

On the long journey, doubts appear to have crept in. The boy told police in an interview:

"I wasn't really sure we were doing the right thing. Maybe she wasn't either, I don't know. But she wanted to go through with it."

They sneaked into the house and the boy murdered the mother with the hammer as she slept and gave the father life-threatening injuries. The girl tried to kill her sister, but she woke up and managed to avoid the blows and escape to a neighbour.

The plan was then to kill the grandmother before returning to Stockholm to kill the girl's two brothers before they realised what had happened. But they were arrested a few hours later at a railway station, by which time the boy had phoned his father and confessed.

Aftonbladet describes how the couple sat in court today looking pale and with long fringes hanging over their eyes. The boy looked resolute, but the girl only nodded in reply to questions and never looked at her brothers or sister.

Both have undergone psychiatric examination and are considered to be seriously mentally disturbed. This means that the girl can still claim her inheritance, even if she's convicted of murder.

Sources: Expressen, Aftonbladet

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