Downtown Drag Racers Get Life for Murder

"The accused had trivially played with the lives of others," the judge says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2019 7:30 PM CDT
Downtown Drag Racers Get Life for Murder
In this Feb. 1, 2016 file photo destroyed cars are seen after a crash during an illegal car race in Berlin.   (Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP)

Two men involved in a fatal 2016 drag race are going to prison for life after all, Deutsche Welle reports. Identified only as Hamdi H., 28, and Marvin N., 25, they were initially found guilty of murder after hitting and killing a 69-year-old driver during a 2016 race in downtown Berlin that topped 100mph, per an old Deutsche Welle article. The verdict hinged on the judge deciding that their reckless state of mind and grotesque over-valuation of their driving ability amounted to "limited willful intent" to kill.

But Germany's highest criminal court overruled the life sentences in January, agreeing with defense attorneys that the drivers hadn't intended to commit murder, Deutsche Welle reported at the time. The case was re-tried as expected, and a regional Berlin court ruled Tuesday that the men were in fact guilty of murder. "The accused had trivially played with the lives of others," the presiding judge said. Germany has added a new law that fatal illegal car races are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but that can't be added retroactively to this case. (More drag racing stories.)

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