Germany: The suspected killer of six-year-old Joel convicted to seven years in prison for murder

This German crime from 2023 is simply terrible. It was revealed a 15-year-old neighbour killed little Joel. The verdict is now final.

Joel Germany crime
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Joel Germany crime

This news shocked the whole of Germany in September 2023: six-year-old Joel was killed in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania - allegedly by his then 14-year-old neighbour, who is now 15. The trial against the teenager is now over and the Neubrandenburg Justice Center has announced the verdict.

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15-year-old confesses to killing Joel

His confession came as a surprise. Although the teenager made at least a partial confession at the beginning of April, he has now corrected some of his statements. After initially remaining silent for a long time, Joel's neighbour initially stated that there had been an accomplice. As a result, his older brother was also investigated.

However, there were no precise statements as to who had stabbed the six-year-old after he had been beaten up. Now the perpetrator suddenly confessed: he acted alone, there was no accomplice.

The worst thing: The family knew the boy

What must have been a particularly big shock for the parents of the deceased Joel was the realisation that their son had not fallen victim to a complete stranger, but to a boy the family knew well.

In an earlier interview, the grieving parents revealed that the teenager had even been present at Joel's first day at school. He was therefore a friend of the family.

Background unknown

The hearings were held in camera (aka in private) because the perpetrator is a minor. Little is known about the background to this crime. But a lot is known about the course of events.

The then 14-year-old is said to have beaten the little boy in the bushes at the Pragsdorf football pitch, where Joel was later found, and then stabbed him several times in the upper body with a knife.

Joel was found as part of a search operation because his parents had reported him missing. However, all help came too late for him, although he was probably still showing signs of life when the rescue services found him.

Manslaughter or murder? Court now announced the verdict

While the lawyer for Joel's parents, Christine Habetha, argued for murder and demanded the maximum sentence of ten years and the reservation of preventive detention, the defense pleaded for manslaughter and seven years.

The verdict has now been reached: the 15-year-old was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison for murder.

Joel's parents later stated that they were 'satisfied' with the verdict. For them, it was particularly important that the perpetrator was convicted of murder - and not manslaughter. They now want to seek professional help to deal with this trauma.

This article has been translated from Gentside DE

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Berliner Kurier: Joel (†6) im Gebüsch erstochen: Die Details sind erschreckend

Tagesspiegel: Eltern begrüßen das Urteil: Gericht verurteilt Jugendlichen wegen Mordes an kleinem Joel zu acht Jahren Haft

RND: Mord an Joel: 15-jähriger Täter zu jahrelanger Freiheitsstrafe verurteilt

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