KASSEL, Germany (AP) — A German engineer killed by another man after allegedly answering Internet ads seeking a willing victim for “slaughter and consumption” never expressed any desire to die, his former partner told the self-confessed cannibal’s murder trial.
When his trial opened December 3, defendant Armin Meiwes confessed in detail to the March 2001 killing of 43-year-old Bernd Juergen Brandes at his home. Brandes, who had traveled from Berlin after answering his ads, wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness, Meiwes testified.
But on Monday, Brandes’ partner testified that “he had no thoughts of suicide or direct problems.”
“To this day, I can’t explain” Brandes’ death, 27-year-old Rene Jasnik told the Kassel state court.
Jasnik said the couple had been “very happy” and were planning a joint vacation later in the year. However, he added, he found Brandes’ will, dated January 3, 2001, following his disappearance.
Prosecutors say the killing was sexually motivated and filed murder charges against Meiwes, 42, despite concluding that the killer had the victim’s consent.
If convicted of murder, Meiwes could face life in prison. But his attorney argues that the slaying was instead a form of mercy killing, which would carry a maximum five-year sentence.
Meiwes has told the court that he subsequently looked for further willing victims through Internet ads and chat rooms.
Police tracked down and arrested him in December 2002 after a student in Austria alerted them to an advertisement Meiwes had placed on the Internet seeking a man willing to be killed and eaten.
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