Prosecutor office appeals Lihula shooter prison sentence, seeking life term

Mikk Tarraste, the Lihula shooter, when he was originally being taken into custody.
Mikk Tarraste, the Lihula shooter, when he was originally being taken into custody. Source: Still from a video | Verner Vilgas/ERR

The prosecutor's office is seeking life imprisonment for a man who committed a double homicide, and is appealing the 20-year sentence he was handed earlier this year.

The defendant, Mikk Tarraste, was in May this year found guilty of the June 2020 shooting homicide of two people, near Lihula, western Estonia.

However, the prosecutor's office is seeking a life sentence, reiterating its original stance prior to Tarraste's trial, rather than the 20-year sentence which the first tier Pärnu County Court handed him in May. The appeal is now with the second-tier circuit court, BNS reports.

Tarraste, a former nursing instructor and former Defense League (Kaitseliit) member, also injured four people in the Lihula attack.

Gardi Anderson, senior prosecutor at the West District Prosecutor's Office, is seeking the annulment of the Pärnu court's decision.

With respect to that ruling, Judge Rubo Kikerpill had stated that while murder always constitutes an extremely brutal crime, section 114 of the Penal Code stipulates that the minimum punishment for murder is eight years' imprisonment ,and the maximum punishment is 20 years to life.

Tarraste is aged 33.

Kikerpill pointed out that Tarraste had no serious criminal offenses to his name and was not serving any penal punishment at the time of the double homicide, while the court also deemed Tarraste's sincere apology an important mitigating factor.

The surviving victims and defense counsel for one of them have also appealed what they called the light sentence Tarraste had been given.

The circuit court is due to hear the appeal later this month.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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