An asylum seeker from South Sudan who was charged with killing three people on board a bus in the mountains last year has now died as well. The entire case is being called “sad and tragic,” after the refugee jumped off a roof at the prison in Bergen where he was being held.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Thursday that the murder defendant died from injuries sustained when he jumped off the prison roof. His death set off debate over whether he still should have been held in a psychiatric hospital.
The man, indicted for three murders on a Valdresekspressen bus last November, had been transferred from a psychiatric hospital to the Bergen prison to await trial. Medical personnel had determined him healthy enough to stand trial, even though he reportedly had attempted suicide and been considered psychotic when he ran amok on the bus as it drove from Årdal bound for Oslo.
He’d been on his way to being deported after his asylum application was rejected. Instead he stabbed two fellow passengers and the bus driver in an attack that received wide media coverage.
He’d been in custody since, and underwent several psychiatric evaluations. NRK reported that he was in the midst of a conversation with two psychologists and and three prison guards when he climbed on a roof at Bergen Prison and jumped off two weeks ago.
He was rushed to Haukeland Hospital in Bergen and had been lying in a respirator since, when doctors decided to take him off the respirator. He died an hour later, according to state prosecutor Magne Nyborg.
Psychiatrists have called for mentally disturbed patients to be held longer in psychiatric hospitals. The case was already setting off more debate about treatment of mentally ill defendants.