A German court has sentenced a man to life in prison for brutally killing a woman over three decades ago. Investigators tracked down the defendant thanks to DNA samples found on the victim's dress.
DNA evidence played a key role in solving a 1987 Berlin murder, with a German court finding a 61-year-old defendant guilty and sentencing him to life in prison on Tuesday.
According to the verdict, the man met the victim through a newspaper ad and the two had several sexual encounters. The affair was kept secret as the mother of two was living with the children's father at the time.
However, the two got into an argument during one of his visits to the woman's apartment in Berlin's Neukölln neighborhood, in the presence of her young son. The child was two years and eight months old when the incident took place.
The woman apparently demanded money to continue seeing the man, with him growing "aggressive and violent," according to chief judge Matthias Schertz. The defendant proceeded to choke the victim and then stab her several times in the neck.
He then left the apartment, leaving the child to wait with his mother's body until his older brother came back from school.
Found through DNA samples
Investigators were initially unable to solve the crime, forcing them to halt the probe in 1991. However, prosecutors reopened the case in 2015 to apply modern DNA analysis to samples found on the woman's dress. Additionally, a witness provided details on the relationship between the defendant and the victim.
The defendant, identified as Klaus R. in accordance with German privacy laws, claims that he had never had sex with the woman and had not seen her on the day of the murder. The presiding judge dismissed the claims on Tuesday as "not credible."
The defense has pledged to appeal the verdict.
dj/msh (dpa, AFP)