Dhe District Court of Bad Kreuznach has the shooter of Idar-Oberstein sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. 50-year-old Mario N. shot gas station employee Alexander W. in the head last September after he had repeatedly pointed out the obligation to wear a mask.
The chamber thus complied with the demand of the public prosecutor's office, which the victim's mother had also fully supported as a joint plaintiff. The defense had pleaded for a shorter sentence for manslaughter with significantly reduced criminal responsibility.
The process, which has been running since March, was not about identifying Mario N. as the perpetrator. There had been no doubt about his guilt. He turned himself in to the police the morning after the crime in September 2021 and confessed to having killed Alexander W. The course of events could be reconstructed quite clearly thanks to extensive evidence. Video recordings show Mario N. entering the gas station at 7.45 p.m. on the evening of September 18 and wanting to buy two six-packs of beer – without a mask. Alexander W. stands at the checkout, points out the obligation to wear a mask, and an argument ensues. N. leaves the beer in a rage.
Almost an hour and a half later he returns to the gas station. He stands in line with a mask and several bottles of beer and waits for his turn. Then he takes off the mask. The video recordings of the event have poor sound quality, but according to a language expert, Alexander W. probably says “open the mask” and “do it”. Mario N. is unimpressed. "Really?" he is said to have asked. Then he shoots Alexander W. in the face. He then goes outside, according to his defense attorney, "as if he had just paid at the gas station".
Defense: N. "was not in control of his own mind"
In the process, the defense tried to portray Mario N. as someone who was in an acute mental crisis. Who is not an ice-cold killer, but was "not at all in control of his senses" with about two per thousand in the blood at the time of the crime. The act has no murder characteristics, his two defense attorneys emphasized in their pleadings last Friday. Mario N. was not mentally healthy at the time of the crime, he saw his freedom rights severely curtailed by the corona restrictions. Due to asthma, it was difficult for him to breathe with a mask. A year and a half before the crime, the accused's father had committed suicide. The man had previously shot his wife, the accused's mother, and she survived with serious injuries.
Mario N. was worn down, and this condition is understandable to some extent: there are no base motives. One cannot speak of insidiousness either. The perpetrator did not choose the victim at random, rather Alexander W's instructions triggered great anger in the accused. He didn't want to hit the victim "suspecting and defenseless", he was in the tunnel.
The public prosecutor's office and a psychological report had drawn a different picture of the accused. Mario N. had already admitted in March that he had committed the crime "to set an example". According to the public prosecutor's office, the perpetrator made W. the object of his sign. He took advantage of the fact that W. had not been able to protect himself in the situation. The victim is not related to the perpetrator's personal situation. The accused had become increasingly radicalized during the Corona period.
Message from N.: "I don't see a solution without violence"
Chat messages and video messages to friends show that Mario N. had fantasies of violence before. In February 2020, before the outbreak of the pandemic in Germany, he wrote to an acquaintance: "I know it sounds stupid, but I can't see any solution that doesn't involve violence." armed without attracting attention.” He called women with headscarves “hooded people”, the “Sea-Watch 3” captain Carola Rackete, who rescued refugees in the Mediterranean in 2019, was a “bitch” in his eyes, and the young climate activist Greta Thunberg "mentally retarded". Referring to political opponents, such as a left-wing activist and the federal government, he spoke of "gas chambers" and how unfortunate it was "that they are out of fashion".
A psychiatrist's report had attested Mario N.'s full culpability even when he was drunk, and ruled out both a reduction in his ability to control and a serious personality disorder. The defense had criticized the report several times during the trial and described it as "too superficial". The court had rejected an application for bias: It could not find any bias on the part of the expert. It had also rejected the defense attorney's request for a further opinion.