German man convicted of murder for violating mask requirement

BERLIN—A German man was convicted Tuesday of shooting a gas station clerk following a face mask controversy and was sentenced to life in prison.

A murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein in September 2021 shocked the nation. The defendant was also found guilty of illegal possession of a weapon because he did not have a license for the gun used in the killing, German news agency DPA reported.

A 50-year-old man told officers he acted “out of anger” when he tried to buy beer at a gas station after a 20-year-old clerk refused to serve him without a mask, officials said. rice field.

At that time, in Germany, it was compulsory to wear masks in stores.

Police said the suspect, a German identified by local media as Mario N., left the gas station after the conflict, but returned 30 minutes later and shot a clerk in the head.

He initially fled the scene, but turned himself in after police launched a massive search.

Defense attorneys were seeking a manslaughter conviction in a trial that lasted six months. They argued that the suspect, who was intoxicated when the fatal shooting took place, could be held criminally responsible for his actions, according to experts.

Prosecutors had asked the court to find the defendant “gravely liable”. This would have effectively prevented early release after 15 years, which is typical for Germans sentenced to life imprisonment. The judge did not.

Associated Press