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Annika Östberg 'not ready' for life out of prison: prosecutor

TT/The Local · 4 Nov 2009, 08:16

Published: 04 Nov 2009 08:16 GMT+01:00

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Chief prosecutor Gunnar Brodin believes Östberg, who was convicted in California in 1981 for being an accessory to two murders, including a police officer, will need a long time to adjust to life outside of prison.

As a result, he thinks it’s still too early to change her life sentence, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

On Monday, Östberg is to appear before the district court in Örebro in central Sweden to make her case for having her sentence reduced.

Brodin believes Östberg “hasn’t in any way faced a drug free life of freedom and the challenges that come with it,” according to DN.

At the time of the two murders for which she was convicted for serving as an accomplice, Östberg was abusing both drugs and alcohol.

Sweden's Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) has already given approval to having Östberg’s sentence reduced and sees no reason to deny her an early release.

The National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket), however, believes there is a medium-high risk that Östberg would relapse into a life of crime, an assessment which could complicate her bid to convince the court to approve her request.

Story continues below…

According to the medical agency, Östberg would need a long transitional period before she could be set free.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:33 November 4, 2009 by villjobba
Exactly! She should stay right there where she belongs!
09:42 November 4, 2009 by Luckystrike
She gets a life sentance in the US, they agree to transfer the nut here to serve out her prison time and the first order of the day is helping the freak to be released ????? WT F
10:22 November 4, 2009 by Åskar
A late friend of mine, who was a diplomat and had handled a number of similar cases, once told me that there is absolutely no way that we can take home a prisoner from abroad just to release him. It's always the country that has sentenced him that decides if and when he will be released. I can only conclude that California has given Sweden an OK in this case.
13:04 November 4, 2009 by Beynch
With Östberg a willing participant - `Murder 1` - of a law enforcement officer, one hopes that she never, ever, gets ready for "life out of prison". In many states this is a capital offence, although it is unclear if this would have been the case in California where this murderess' heinous crime took place. Let her rot. No parole. Ever! Kriminalvården is out of its feeble mind as they obviously do not represent the will of the Swedish people. They are operating, not in the best interest of Sweden, but with its own social ageeeeenda. Rättsmedicinalverket seem to have the finger on the pulse. Do not let this killer out!! According to Rättsmedicinalverket there is a "medium to high risk that [this killer] would relapse in to a life of crime". It is us who need to be protected. Not the killer!!
13:40 November 4, 2009 by mastersamuel
These comments are completely ignorant and absurd. Annika Östberg was convicted as the article reads in 1981 - 28 years ago - for a crime essentially concocted and perpetrated by her late boyfriend. She was an accessory to murder and an acting accomplice, yet there has never been any proof she fired a gun at all during the incident. She has been locked up for 28 years under a ridiculously strict American judicial system essentially carrying the endless weight of pressure from partisan religious institutions. If these events had played out within any democratic European judicial system she would have been allowed to re-enter into society long ago. Annika is not blameless, but she is a massive victim of her circumstances. I hope that she finds the path to rehabilitation into society and I wish her well.
14:46 November 4, 2009 by DAVID T
On April 30, 1981, Östberg and her boyfriend Bob Cox robbed and killed the ex-restaurant owner Joe Torre. Östberg sold stolen meat to restaurants and had made an appointment in a warehouse with Torre. While she pretended to put the meat out of the truck Bob Cox shot him. They robbed Torre and drove away. Next day on the highway their vehicle became disabled. Sgt. Helbush stopped to render aid to Cox and Ostberg-Deasy. According to the local district attorney from Lake County, CA, Lester Fleming, he has stated that evidence exists that leads one to believe that Ostberg may actually have shot Sgt Helbush as he walked back to his patrol car. The conflicting story that Ostberg-Deasy states is this: While Östberg pretended to search for a drivers license that didn't exist, Cox shot Helbush in the back of the head. Östberg told Cox to get rid of the body and steal the policeman's wallet before the couple stole the police car.
15:07 November 4, 2009 by Beynch
Thank you David T. I rest my case!
16:16 November 4, 2009 by Luckystrike
Mastersamuel, are you currently the Swedish justice minister by any chance ? Your comment would make sense then..
17:03 November 4, 2009 by DAVID T
As Helbush did not report back, a patrol soon found his body. Policeman Don Anderson got the alarm and discovered his colleague's stolen police car on a road in the Cobb Mountains area. After a short pursuit, Cox crashed the stolen car in an sharp curve near the intersection 175/Dry Creek Road 38°45′33″N 122°38′30″W / 38.759178°N 122.641701°W / 38.759178; -122.641701. During the shootout, in which Östberg helped Cox to reload the guns, Cox was wounded by several shots from the police and gave up. Östberg tried to reach a gun before a police officer grabbed her and put her on the ground.[10] Östberg explained the crimes in detail in the hearings but blamed her drug abuse. However, drug tests showed that she was not 'high' at the time.[1][11][12]
17:32 November 4, 2009 by mastersamuel
I think that people that try and argue against me by copying and pasting Wikipedia have already lost the argument...

@ Luckystrike:

No, I am not the Swedish justice minister. As far as I know Beatrice Ask has no dealings with this case. If she thought in the same way as you guys do then presumably she would have. If however, she thought in the same way as you guys do, she would not be the Swedish justice minister.
18:05 November 4, 2009 by jose_s
maybe another 20 years will get her ready..
18:11 November 4, 2009 by insect
This Anika is an idiot

She should have convinced her boyfriend to come live in Sweden with her. After he had become her Sambo, they should have then committed the crime, because he would have been jailed for two months while Anika sued someone for the stress she went through during the criminal acts.
22:59 November 4, 2009 by Rebel

Unlike Sweden, if you murder a youngster in the USA you might actually get a sentence you deserve.
02:08 November 5, 2009 by volvoman9
Or you could be locked up for mere possession of an innocuous substance like pot. Lets face it Rebel no one has the perfect penal system least of all the US. Our prisons are bloated with the victims of the ridiculous "war on drugs". This country is doomed to repeat the failures of history. I believe wholeheartedly in the punishment fitting the crime but this is all to often skewed by the crowd mentality of the theocratic conservative subculture that is growing in the US. We could easily become the thing we purport to fear most. A fundamentalist theocracy. Kill anyone who does not believe as you do eh? Sound familiar?
09:24 November 5, 2009 by DAVID T
She should have got the chair - wonder how the victims family's feel about this
20:45 November 5, 2009 by mkvgtired
mastersamuel, maybe the next person she kills will be you or your family. I guess it is a risk you are willing to take so she can be "rehabilitated". Dont expect anyone to come to your rescue either, they will be fined $7000 and given a one year jail sentence.

DAVID T, Thanks for the posts. "She should have got the chair - wonder how the victims family's feel about this"? Probably the same as the families of the 270 victims of the Lockerbie bombing when another European judicial system released a murderer. How did the "soft power" request for a low key return to Libya turn out again?
14:42 November 6, 2009 by Twiceshy
These scum have attacked an Enforcer of Justice. Therefor, the only sentence is death.

Death to those who attack the forces of Justice and Light ! Death to those who challenge the authority of the Great Hammer!
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