American Who Attacked 2 Tourists Gets Life in Prison in Germany

Unnamed 31-year-old raped, murdered US citizen, injured another at popular tourist spot
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 11, 2024 10:20 AM CDT
American Gets Life for Rape, Murder in Germany
A 31-year-old American accused of murder is led into the courtroom in Kempten, Germany, on Monday.   (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)

An American man was convicted of murder and other charges on Monday for brutally attacking two American women near Germany's famed Neuschwanstein Castle last summer and pushing them into a ravine, fatally injuring one of them. He was sentenced to life in prison, reports the AP. The Kempten state court also convicted the 31-year-old of attempted murder and rape with fatal consequences, the German news agency dpa reported. The presiding judge, Christoph Schwiebacher, determined that the defendant bears particularly severe guilt, meaning he likely won't be eligible for release after 15 years, as is usually the case in Germany. Defendants in the German legal system don't formally enter pleas to charges, but the suspect admitted to the charges when his trial opened on Feb. 19.

In line with German privacy laws, German authorities didn't identify the perpetrator or the victims. However, family and friends at the time said that the victims were 21-year-old Eva Liu, who died, and her friend Kelsey Chang, 22, who survived. Both were recent graduates of the University of Illinois. The attack took place on June 14 near the Marienbruecke, a bridge over a gorge that offers a view of the castle, one of Germany's most famous tourist attractions. Prosecutors have said the suspect met the two women by chance on a hiking path and lured them off the trail. They said he apparently first forced the younger woman to the ground and tried to undress her.

When the older woman tried to help her, a scuffle ensued and the suspect allegedly pushed her down a steep slope. She fell about 165 feet and sustained a head injury, bruises, and grazes but survived. The suspect then allegedly strangled the younger woman until she was unconscious and raped her, prosecutors have said, before pushing her down the slope as well. She died later in a hospital. (More murder stories.)

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