Viru County Court on Monday morning sentenced Artjom Dronnikov to 16 years in prison for one count of physical abuse and the murder of a 15-year-old girl in the Northeastern Estonian town of Kohtla-Järve last spring. Prosecutors had sought a 20-year sentence.
As the trial was closed, sentencing likewise took place behind closed doors at Jõhvi Courthouse on Monday.
"Artjom Dronnikov was charged with two counts of physical abuse and one count of murder," Judge Anne Palmiste said following sentencing. "Artjom Dronnikov was found not guilty by the court on one count of physical abuse. The county court found Artjom Dronnikov guilty on the other count of physical abuse and on the count of murder. The county court sentenced Artjom Dronnikov to an aggregate 16 years in prison. His sentence began to be counted as of when he was taken into custody on April 15, 2018."
The ruling has not yet stepped into force and can be appealed within the next 15 days.
Representatives of Viru County Court had previously declined to confirm whether or not Dronnikov had pleaded guilty or not. "Unfortunately we cannot answer this question, as the trial has been declared closed," spokesperson Maili Õunaaed previously told ERR.
On April 15, 2018, the body of 15-year-old Nastja was found with multiple stab wounds in a Pärna Street courtyard in Kohtla-Järve. That same evening, an 18-year-old man, an ex-boyfriend of the victim, was arrested as a suspect in her killing.
Editor: Aili Vahtla