AP

German man convicted of murder after killing over mask rules

Sep 12, 2022, 12:43 PM | Updated: Sep 13, 2022, 6:18 am

FILE -- Media and a police car stand in front of a gas station in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, Tuesday,...

FILE -- Media and a police car stand in front of a gas station in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. A German man was convicted of murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting a young gas station clerk a year ago following a dispute over face masks and given a life prison sentence. (Thomas Frey/dpa via AP, file)

(Thomas Frey/dpa via AP, file)

BERLIN (AP) — A man in Germany was convicted of murder and given a life sentence Tuesday for fatally shooting a gas station clerk following a dispute over face masks.

The September 2021 killing in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked the country. The defendant also was convicted of illegal weapons possession because he didn’t have a license for the gun used in the killing, German news agency dpa reported.

Authorities have said the 50-year-old man told officers he acted “out of anger” while trying to buy beer at the gas station after the 20-year-old clerk refused to serve him without a mask.

At the time, Germany required mask use in stores to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Police said the suspect, a German citizen identified in local media as Mario N., left the gas station after the dispute but returned a half-hour later and shot the clerk in the head.

He initially fled the scene but turned himself in after police launched a large-scale manhunt.

The state court in Bad Kreuznach found the defendant’s radical right-wing stance and his enmity toward the state were the main motives for the killing, dpa reported.

It said the defendant viewed the clerk as a representative of the state and its coronavirus policy, and decided to “make an example” of him after he insisted on the mask mandate.

Defense lawyers in the trial, which lasted six months, had sought a conviction for manslaughter. They argued that there were limits to how far the suspect, who according to an expert was intoxicated when the fatal gunshot was inflicted, could be held criminally responsible for his actions.

Prosecutors had called for the court to find the defendant “seriously culpable,” which would have effectively barred him from the early release after 15 years that is typical for people in Germany given life sentences. Judges didn’t do so.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

24 hours ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

boeing nasa...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays

Boeing launched astronauts for the first time Wednesday, belatedly joining SpaceX as a second taxi service for NASA.

8 days ago

German man convicted of murder after killing over mask rules