Couple gets eight years for New Year's killing

The court in Groningen sentenced Rhowan P. and Desiree G. from Kloosterburen to eight years in prison and institutionalized psychiatric treatment for killing Jesse van Wieren on New Year's last year. They were found guilty of manslaughter, AD reports.

Van Wieren, 28, went missing during the early hours of January 1st, 2016. His body was found buried in P.'s garden a few days later, not far from the bar where he was last seen. The young man was stabbed 23 times, strangled and buried in the garden

P. and G. both confessed to killing Van Wieren, but claim it was self defense. The court ruled out this scenario based on the results of forensic investigation and contradicting statements the two made. The judge considered it proven that the two attacked Van Wieren, using a lot of violence. P. and G. were found guilty of manslaughter, instead of murder, because there was no evidence of premeditation. 

According to the judge, the perpetrators acted on a whim. P. stabbed Van Wieren with a knife G. got for him, after she assaulted the man. Psychological examinations revealed that both suspects struggle with mental disorders and were addicted to alcohol and drugs from a young age. The court ruled that their is a high chance of recurrence, and therefore also sentenced the perpetrators to institutionalized mental treatment. 

The judge regrets that the exact circumstances around and lead up to Van Wieren's death never became clear. The fact that the perpetrators twice buried their victim in the garden weighed heavily on the judge's sentence decision. "He was dumped in a pit", the judge said. "It was not deep enough and a second pit was dug. This while a desperate search was happening for Jesse. With that the suspects caused unbelievable sorrow for his family."