Two minors charged with murder of homeless man in Õismäe ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Harju County Courthouse.
Harju County Courthouse. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Two young men have been charged with murdering a homeless man on Aug.20 in Tallinn's Õismäe and accused of physical assault, the prosecution service announced on Wednesday.

On the morning of Aug. 20, the body of a man with signs of violence was found near an apartment building on Õismäe tee in Tallinn. He was 53 years old, homeless, and according to a forensic doctor he died as a result of being beaten.

Three days later, police officers detained a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old who were suspected of killing the man according to evidence collected at the scene.

Northern District Attorney Kelly Kruusimägi told ERR the young men will be charged with the murder. They are also accused of physical assaults in Õismäe at the beginning of May this year, and one of the men is accused of the same in the center of Tallinn in early August.

Kruusimägi would not discuss the young men's motives.

"The exact motive for the crime is determined by the court or not, and it cannot be discussed at this stage in the proceedings. However, both defendants have previously come to the attention of the police because of alcohol abuse," he said.

It can not be determined if the suspects were under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of the murder as they were arrested several days after Aug. 20.

At the moment, it is not yet clear what kind of punishment the prosecutor's office will impose on young men.

The Penal Code states that for committing murder imprisonment of between eight and 20 years or life imprisonment is justified. The maximum term of imprisonment for minors is ten years.

The trial schedule is set for early November.

There are about 30 murders per year in Estonia. Kruusimägi said minors rarely commit such serious crimes.

"In general, these are crimes where the victim and the killer know each other, and the crime is caused by a quarrel that is often aggravated by the alcohol they consume," he said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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