Suspect says he killed girlfriend to protect her from "something really bad"
This story was updated.
The man who stabbed his girlfriend to death in a bed and breakfast in Valkenswaard last February said he was trying to save her from “something far worse,” he said in a Den Bosch courtroom on Wednesday. The 46-year-old, Martien M., said he had delusions that convinced him that if he didn’t kill her she would have been kidnapped, raped and forced into prostitution. M. is on trial for the murder of his 33-year-old girlfriend, Stephanie, on 1 February, and also for the attempted murder of the owner of the bed and breakfast.
“She would have had a very hard life and ended up being killed too. I still think so,” he said. Because he was having a psychotic episode at the time, he cannot be held responsible for the murder, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said during closing arguments. The OM did not recommend giving the man a prison sentence, but instead recommended psychiatric institutionalization with compulsory treatment.
A brother of the victim was supposed to read a statement during the hearing, but on his way to the microphone he tried to lunge at the suspect. Staff from the prosecutor's office managed to overpower him, and remove he was removed from the courtroom.
The night of the murder, the owner of the bed and breakfast heard fumbling and screaming in the couple’s upstairs apartment. When she finally went to have a look, she saw how M. stabbed his girlfriend in the neck, and that she bled to death there.
An autopsy later revealed that the victim was stabbed dozens of times with a knife, including three times in the neck. He then also attacked the owner of the bed and breakfast.
M. said before that he was suffering from psychosis that evening and night. As a child he experienced an extreme sense of fear, and at the age of 17 the Eindhoven resident experienced psychoses for the first time. Since then he became a drug user, and was treated for that at a mental health institution in Eindhoven since he was 24. He was given medication to suppress the psychotic episodes.
He also met Stephanie there five years ago. Soon after, they started a relationship. They fled the institution last year to be able to spend more time together. They lived in the forest, in a tiny house, and eventually they moved to the B&B.
Then, last year, M. stopped taking his prescriptions at his girlfriend’s request of his girlfriend. “It made me drowsy, but on the street I needed to be very alert to protect her.” He was barely able to sleep once he stopped taking the medication. As a result, the delusions soon returned. He began imagining cars parked in front of the house, and he became convinced that "they" were coming to get his girlfriend.
To prevent that, he had to kill her, "because I loved her," he said. “That kidnapping was reality for me. It sounds very bizarre, but it still is.” He first hit her on the head with a bottle and then stabbed her more than thirty times with a knife.
According to experts, the man suffers from a schizophrenic disorder and he cannot be blamed for the murder. Only intensive and possibly lifelong treatment in a closed clinic makes sense, they said.