Teens face up to 14 months in juvenile detention for fatal stabbing of snack bar owner
The Public Prosecution Service demanded sentences of up to 14 months in juvenile detention with juvenile TBS, for three teenagers involved in the fatal stabbing of a 39-year-old snack bar owner in The Hague in January. Since the accused are minors, the hearings were held behind closed doors on Wednesday and Thursday.
The accused, two girls aged 15 and 17 and a 17-year-old boy, the younger girl's brother, are charged with manslaughter.
Wei Chen was fatally stabbed on the evening of 27 January while returning home with his wife from their snack bar in Houtwijk, The Hague. The incident occurred at Doctor H.E. van Geldererf in the Loosduinen district. He suffered a stab wound to the chest and two more on his back. After emergency responders attempted resuscitation, Chen was taken to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Within hours, the three underage suspects were arrested.
According to the Public Prosecution Service (OM), the assault was initiated by the two girls with physical aggression. It is believed the younger girl pulled the knife.
As part of their investigation, the police eavesdropped conversations between the suspects. The prosecutor described their discussions about the incident as "disconcerting and shocking." The OM also reported that the suspects were largely uncooperative during interrogations, especially regarding initiatives to reintegrate them into society.
Given their age, the suspects will be tried under the juvenile justice system, which limits sentencing to a maximum of 24 months of juvenile detention or 12 months for those up to age 16. This system prioritizes the reintegration of young offenders into society, often involving treatment programs.
For the 15-year-old girl believed to have wielded the knife, the prosecutor demanded 12 months of juvenile detention and youth TBS. For the 17-year-old girl, the prosecutor demanded 14 months in juvenile detention and youth TBS. She is also suspected of stabbing her mother's former partner in September 2022.
The Public Prosecution Service demanded 10 months of juvenile detention and juvenile TBS for the 17-year-old boy. This is in connection with another case involving the theft of four mobile phones.
The court is scheduled to deliver its verdict on October 12, and the announcement will be public.