A young man, very drunk, falls into a sewer and drowns. His friends don’t intervene. Instead, a young woman is holding onto it with the cell phone camera. Was the greed for videos too great?
Weiden – The trial of the death of a young man came to an end in Weiden, Bavaria, with two prison sentences of several years. In the dock sat three friends of the 22-year-old, who fell drunk into a canal and drowned in September 2020.
The presiding judge sentenced two of them in front of the regional court on Friday for exposure resulting in death. A 24-year-old, the victim’s best friend, is said to have been imprisoned for five and a half years; a 22 year old for four and a half years. The third defendant received a six-month suspended sentence for failure to provide assistance.
Unlike the defense attorneys, who had called for acquittals in their pleadings, the judges saw not only a moral but also a criminal guilt on the part of the accused. The presiding judge described in detail the course of the evening that began in a shisha bar.
According to the criminal chamber, the friends brought the 22-year-old, who at some point found it difficult to coordinate, out of the bar in the direction of the parking garage. Several times they would have had to lead him and pull him away from the street. The 24-year-old and the 22-year-old were also drunk. The third defendant was the driver, who was later not directly on the bank of the event.
The 22-year-old disappeared at the parking garage. The friends looked for him and heard noises from the nearby canal. The young man lay wet and whimpering on the bank. The woman held on to it with the cell phone camera. The young woman’s laughter can be heard on a video. The 22-year-old speaks to her from the bank and says: “I’m so bad.” The woman wanted to create a video that was easy to post, according to the judge. “Because that’s important nowadays.”
In a second film, she zooms in on the drunk when he tries in vain to sit up and then falls into the water. His bad shape can be seen – the judges were convinced that it was impossible not to see the danger.
The friends left anyway. In derisive cell phone messages sent late in the evening it was said: “He’s drowning right now”. In the morning, the friends tried to reach the 22-year-old: “Are you still alive?” And “Don’t give a shit,” they typed. That’s when he actually drowned.
A conviction for suspension resulting in death was justified, the judge explained. Because by leading the 22-year-old out of the bar, the friends had worsened his situation. The proximity of the parking garage to the canal meant an increased risk, and there were fewer people there who could have helped.
The 24-year-old was punished more severely than the young woman because he was the victim’s best friend and therefore, according to the criminal chamber, must have had an increased interest in helping the 22-year-old. The defenders of the two announced revision. dpa