The maximum sentence was handed down in the murder of two young sisters in Munich's municipal court on Monday. Thomas S. had been convicted of killing his two young nieces, eight year-old Chiara and her eleven year-old sister Sharon, in two incomprehensibly brutal slayings. In a country where a life sentence can lead to an early release after fifteen years, the crime's gravity led the court to reiterate that the convicted would not be released early.
More than a year ago in the early morning of 24 March 2011, the girls' mother returned home from her partner's nearby pub to find the particularly grisly crime scene. The killer's easy entrance to the home was due to the door being left unlocked in the event of a house fire. A rope, a knife and a barbell were found at the scene completely covered in blood. Pathologists later said that it was one of the most appalling cases they had ever worked on.
Originally blaming the presence of his blood at the scene on a nose bleed, Thomas S. eventually settled on the excuse that he had been framed by the police. By the end of the trial, his defense team had noticeably distanced themselves from their client.
The dire financial state of the convicted father of four was enough to convince the court that he had motive. This, in addition to the forensic evidence, led to the relatively quick conviction and sentencing. Although an appeal was immediately announced, the general mood in the press is that such a decision can only lead to more grave disappointment.