The 20-year-old was found guilty of stabbing two people in cold blood. One of his victims was only 9 years old. The murders set out a manhunt in the populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia in March 2017.
A district court in the western German city of Bochum sentenced a 20-year-old man to life in prison on Wednesday for a double murder that shocked the nation.
Marcel H. was 19 years old in March 2017 when he committed the crimes. While technically an adolescent under German law, the presiding judge Stefan Culemann said in his statement that a juvenile sentencing was "out of the question" given the seriousness of the crime.
The judge expressed in the sentencing that the killing of a young boy had been "completely senseless" and that coupled with Marcel H.'s confessed murder fantasies, there were "enough reasons" to hand down the heaviest sentence.
The defendant was described by authorities as a troubled man, a vocational student who was frustrated after being turned down for multiple jobs and being rejected from with the army. The prosecution offered as motive the suspect's dissatisfaction with his own life and a "gratification of his own sadism."
For his crimes, Marcel H. will have to serve 20 years in prison in a social-therapeutic facility and due to their severity, will not be eligible for early release in 15 years.
The events that took place in the city of Herne were particularly gruesome, as the suspect delivered 120 stab wounds to his victims.
The first victim, the young boy Jaden, was a neighbor whom Marcel H. lured to his home on the pretense that he needed help setting up a ladder. There he stabbed the boy to death, whose body was later found in a cellar.
He fled the scene, seeking shelter at a friend's house. Two days later Marcel H. stabbed the friend to death, presumably for confronting him about going to the police.
Days later, Marcel H. turned himself into the police and confessed to committing both crimes.
The case gained increased notoriety when photos of the murders surfaced on the so-called "darknet," an internet space used for illegal activity which can only be accessed through anonymity tools. Marcel H. denied responsibility for the postings.
Editor's note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.
jcg/kms (dpa, AFP)