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Suspected gas station killer to appear in court on Monday

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Starting Monday, a 50-year-old man who allegedly shot a gas station cashier in Idar-Oberstein in a dispute over the obligation to wear a mask will have to answer to the Bad Kreuznach district court in Rhineland-Palatinate. The indictment accuses him of murdering the 20-year-old in September. The horror in Germany after the crime was great. In addition to murder, the defendants are charged with unlawfully carrying the murder weapon and unlawfully possessing another firearm.

According to the indictment, the 50-year-old man wanted to buy beer at the gas station on September 18. At the time of paying, it is said that there was a brief discussion with the 20-year-old because the client was not wearing a mouth and nose cover. The suspect left the gas station without the beer. At home he grew increasingly angry about the situation at the gas station and decided not to let the matter rest.

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The defendant is said to have long felt burdened by the restrictions imposed to combat the corona pandemic. In fact, he wanted to set an example. The man in the mask returned a good hour and a half after his first visit to the gas station. He then he lowered them into the box. He wanted to provoke a reaction from the 20-year-old.

The defendant surrendered and confessed

There was a brief exchange of words in which the man was asked to put his mask back on. The 50-year-old man then pointed the gun at his victim and shot him in the face. He then fled and, after a failed large-scale manhunt, turned himself in a day later.

The victim succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The defendant viewed him as partly responsible for the overall situation because he wanted to enforce the mask requirement. The 50-year-old man, who is in custody, fully confessed to the crime in his first questioning, after which he remained silent. He had not reported to the police.

Right-wing extremists celebrated the act

The act triggered a wide discussion about a radicalization of the scene of corona deniers and so-called lateral thinkers. She was welcomed in far-right chats and forums. Politicians reacted with horror and consternation in all parties. The incident took place about a week before the general elections and became one of the dominant issues in the final phase of the electoral campaign. The AfD was accused of being partly to blame for the radicalization of coronavirus deniers.

[Lesen Sie auch: „Ich freue mich auf den nächsten Krieg“: Was der Twitter-Account über den Täter aus Idar-Oberstein verrät (T+)]

The protection of the constitution, however, reacted with little surprise to the fact. According to the president of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Stephan Kramer, it was a consequence of the conspiracy fantasies of right-wing extremists. The gas station lobby complained that there was too much pressure on companies and employees to implement the rules.

The reading of the indictment is scheduled for Monday at the beginning of the trial. The defendant then has the opportunity to admit himself. There are initially 13 hearing dates scheduled through mid-May. (AFP)

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