(December 22, 2020 / JNS) A German court sentenced the shooter of a 2019 attack on a synagogue in Halle that killed two people to life in prison on Monday.
The court found Stephan Balliet, 27, a German neo-Nazi from Saxony-Anhalt, guilty for the murder of two people and more than 60 counts of attempted murder during the 26-day trial, according to a report by Germany’s DW media outlet.
Judge Ursula Mertens repeatedly described his murderous acts as “cowardly” and “cruel.”
The attack took place on Oct. 9 during Yom Kippur. Stephan tried to shoot his way into the synagogue, but he was unable to get past the locked outer gates. Instead, he shot two other people, Jana L. a 40-year-old who was passing by, and 20-year-old Kevin S., who was eating lunch at a nearby kebab shop. He also shot at other people and police officers.
The judge described the defendant as a loner who lived at home absorbing “crude conspiracy theories” on the Internet and building weapons, according to the report. She said it was unclear if the man’s family could have prevented the attack but that they refused to testify and had not tried to change Stephan’s extremist views.
She also pointed out that he showed no remorse and voiced his “absurd” ideology in court.
The accused murderer smiled and rolled his eyes as the judge read the reasoning for the verdict.
“You are a danger to humanity,” Mertens told the defendant, according to the report.
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