A 33-year-old man suspected of killing his cousin at a petrol station in El Ejido, Almeria, told the jury at the preliminary hearing on Wednesday October 22 that he was under the influence of drugs and that God told him to do it.
While the public and private prosecutors have asked for the man to be accused of murder due to the brutality of the attack, the defence asked for homicide to be declared.
The public prosecutor stated that the attack occurred on August 24, 2013 when the suspect asked his wife to call his cousin at 3am to take him to a doctor because he was suffering from stomach pains. The three set off in the car towards the clinic but stopped at a petrol station where the suspect stabbed his cousin 22 times. The wife escaped from the car and asked for help inside the petrol station while her husband drove to the Pozo de la Tia Manolica area where he abandoned the car with his cousin’s body inside.
The public prosecutor claimed that evidence clearly proved the suspect as guilty and that he had planned in advance to murder his cousin, using arguments including the fact that he bought a knife a few hours before the attack occurred – having never been known to carry a weapon before – and that he asked for that particular cousin to be called rather than any other nearby family members.
Prosecution explained that the attack was “fast, unexpected and brutal” with stabs to the face, neck, head and arms intended to cause as much pain as possible, and mentioned the fact that the aggressor changed his clothes between the time his cousin died and handing himself in to the police.
The defence meanwhile insisted that the victim had time to defend himself and that the attacker was suffering from intoxication from cannabis, had hallucinations and was delirious.
Neither prosecutor accepted these claims and noted the fact that there are no psychological reports to back them up apart from two interviews done by a dentist six months after the attack. Coroners also explained in the post-mortem that although the victim may have tried to defend himself it would not have been possible and stressed the severity of the wounds of the victim, who was also held firmly by the head.