Teen gets maximum sentence for killing 14 y.o. Savannah

Savannah Dekker, missing in Bunschoten since 1 Jun 2017
Savannah Dekker, missing in Bunschoten since 1 Jun 2017. (Photo: Monique Dekker-Beekhuis / Facebook)

The court in Utrecht sentenced a 17-year-old boy from Den Bosch to two years of juvenile detention and juvenile institutionalized psychiatric treatment for killing 14-year-old Savannah Dekker in Bunschoten last year. The boy was convicted of manslaughter on Friday. He was given the maximum penalty possible for a perpetrator his age under Dutch juvenile law, NOS reports.

Savannah's body was found in a watery ditch on an industrial estate in her home town of Bunschoten on June 4th last year, three days after she went missing. On the day of her disappearance, Savannah had a date to meet the perpetrator, who she met online. He was arrested the same day that her body was found.

Chat conversations, surveillance camera footage and DNA traces on a soda can showed that the boy was near the spot where Savannah's body was found on the day of her disappearance. Camera footage also showed him riding away on her bicycle.

The boy always denied having anything do do with Savannah's death. Though he did say in court that he was in love with the 14-year-old girl, and felt cheated on because she also had contact with other boys. 

How Savannah died was never established, but the court considered it proven that the teenager is responsible for her death. The Public Prosecutor believes that the boy planned to hurt Savannah before their meeting, but there is not enough evidence to prove this, according to the court. The boy was therefore convicted of manslaughter, instead of murder. The sentence is equal to what the Prosecutor demanded

Savannah's disappearance and death gripped the hearts of the entire Netherlands population, also because another 14-year-old girl - Romy Nieuwburg from Hoevelaken - was found murdered in a ditch not far away that same weekend. In Romy's case a 14-year-old boy was sentenced to a year of juvenile detention and juvenile institutionalized psychiatric treatment.