A 23-year-old Norwegian man who stabbed one of his friends to death and severely wounded another on the night before Halloween in 2011 has pleaded psychosis and claims he therefore can’t be held responsible for his murderous acts. Not all the doctors examining him agree.
His trial began this week, with the survivor of the stabbing attack, 24-year-old Marius Løken, testifying that he had come home from a night on the town with a good friend. News bureau NTB reported that Løken thought his roommate was sleeping, but at about 2am, the suspect entered his room at the apartment they shared in Oslo’s Bislett district and suddenly stabbed the other friend who was staying with them. Then the suspect attacked him as well.
“He was like another person,” Marius Løken, age 24, testified in court on Monday. Løken, who still bears visible knife wounds on his neck, said the suspect otherwise was known for being calm even after drinking: “He was the best at thinking about economy and saying ‘no’ to a night on the town.”
Now he faces either prison or commitment to a mental health institution. He has expressed deep regret over the stabbings. He was found shortly after the stabbings were reported in the apartment’s backyard with self-inflicted knife wounds, and he claims to have smeared his own blood on a stairwell wall.
At issue for the court is whether he can be held responsible for his acts, with one of the court-appointed psychiatrists believing he can. His defense attorney, Harald Stabell, said his client believes he must have been psychotic while carrying out “these terrible acts.”