“Worst idea they’ve ever had”

After their confessions on the first day of the trial, the only question that remained open in the trial of three people involved in armed robbery at two of the Würzburg Kupsch markets was how high the penalties would be. Today, Friday, the Juvenile Court responded as follows: The two main perpetrators, aged 17, were sentenced to two years and ten months in prison, and their 19-year-old friend was sentenced to two years and six months.

The phrase “I have never seen a case like this in my long career” was repeated several times during the two-day trial. In the dock were three students who did not have a criminal record prior to the two armed robberies. One of the defense lawyers, as well as the mother of one of the accused, cited the loneliness and isolation experienced by young people during the Corona pandemic as one of the reasons for committing the two crimes that were planned long ago and in many details, take place.

“His life no longer takes place in reality, but only in virtual space,” said the mother. For the three students, this included not only online games, but also Netflix series and documentaries about drug deals. As a result, they eventually came up with the idea of ​​making a living growing and selling marijuana rather than doing regular work. The spoils from theft should serve as initial capital. “It was by far the worst idea they’ve ever had,” said Prosecutor Josch Krismann.

Get suggestions from criminals on YouTube

The trio searched and found YouTube videos containing tips from ex-convicts to prepare for their first heist. “We missed the stopping point,” said one of the defendants.

Masked with motocross helmets, the two 17-year-olds finally attacked the Kupschmarkt in St. Benedikt-Strasse on the evening of December 17, 2021. The young cashier, forced by an offender to open the cash register with an airsoft gun, still had panic attacks and collapsed in the courtroom immediately after his testimony on Thursday.

Even three employees of the Kupsch market in Domstraße have not completely overcome what they have been through. After the loot from the first heist was worth just under €2,000, the trio planned this second chapter, in which the 19-year-old accused and two other young men acted as informants and watchdogs. The juvenile court sentenced the two in mid-July to a suspended juvenile prison sentence.

The raids were carefully planned

In the second robbery that took place on February 21, the two 17-year-olds entered the store masked and forced the deputy branch manager to open the safe with a large knife, in which there were bags of about 47,000 euros in cash. . One of the robbers escaped, and the police arrested the other at the scene.

Despite the large amount of looting and the sophisticated planning of the crime — the perpetrators even carried water and food to the Kupsch employees who wanted them locked up in the basement — defense attorneys aimed for suspended sentences for the three accused. .

“It was a unique story that got out of hand,” confirmed attorney Christian Moelzer and also referred to the dynamics of the group, from which his 17-year-old client could no longer escape at some point. His colleague Vanessa Gerber added that while there is a risk among other juvenile offenders of sliding further into the criminal milieu, “monitoring with appropriate conditions will increase the chances of living a life free of punishment in the future.”

There is no possibility of parole

The Juvenile Court has largely followed the Public Prosecution’s requests for its ruling. Presiding Judge Tanya Zichenal confirmed that the three defendants have fully confessed, have no criminal record, and will continue to receive the full support of their families. “On the other hand, there’s the violence that was used here. These were acts that the victims would suffer for a very long time.” So it was necessary to impose penalties on juveniles well above the probation limit: “Usually, even with young people in such a state, you think of four or four and a half years.” The ruling is not yet legally binding.

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