Prosecutors asked a court in Ålesund on Monday to protect the public from Steven Dan Danielsen, the 24-year-old repeat offender who has confessed to raping and murdering 21-year-old Anja Weløy Aarseth late last summer. They want him sentenced to 21 years of forvaring, a form of protective custody that could keep him in prison for life.
Prosecutor Ingvild Thorn Norheim cited testimony from a string of experts that Danielsen displayed a high risk for carrying out more violent criminal acts. He already has a long record of assault, admits to frequently being under the influence of drugs and has shown repeated contempt for court proceedings during his trial that began last week.
Witnesses for the prosecution included police investigators, witnesses, court-appointed psychiatrists and other legal experts. Aarseth’s parents and friends have sat through the trial, at which the defendant has never shown any sign of remorse.
His defense attorney argued for a conventional prison term of less than 20 years, which could allow probation after serving just two-thirds of it. The judge has now taken the case under advisement.