Teenage murderer faces long jail term

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An appeals court in Western Norway has sharpened the prison term for a now-19-year-old man convicted of killing 13-year-old Sunniva Ødegård with a hammer in the small town of Varhaug last year. The court found that the defendant “hasn’t recognized the seriousness of his acts” and poses a threat to other children.

Newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad reported that the teenager was sentenced to 12 years forvaring, a form of custody meant to protect the public. Judges can extend his custody when his case comes up for review, and he ultimately can be held in prison for life.

“The convict’s behaviour suggests a lack of empathy, and indifference in relation to other people,” the court ruled, citing a “possible personality flaw, but not psychose.” The teenager had admitted to killing Ødegård.

The sentence was in line with the prosecutor’s request. The defendant’s lawyer was evaluating an appeal to the Supreme Court, on the grounds the sentence is too long for someone who was under the legal age of 18 at the time of the crime.

Ødegård’s body was found on July 29 last year not far from her home at Varhaug in Rogaland County, after she’d failed to return after visiting a friend. The murder shocked the community and the defendant’s relatively harsh sentence marks only the third time the special form of protective custody has been applied to a teenager.

newsinenglish.no staff