Trial adjourns in case of break-in that left one intruder dead in Landstuhl
By MARCUS KLOECKNER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 1, 2019
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The trial of three men accused of breaking into the home of an American family in Landstuhl last winter will resume Aug. 13, court officials said Thursday.
The men, identified per German law by only their initials, have been charged with robbery and failing to assist a fourth suspect who died after the American father stabbed him in self-defense.
The trial began Wednesday in the district court in Zweibruecken, a southwestern German city near the French border. The proceedings adjourned after some opening formalities.
The trial is scheduled to end Sept. 2, a court statement said.
On the evening of Feb. 10, police said the suspects rang the Americans’ doorbell while the father, an Army civilian employee and former Air Force officer, was reading a bedtime story to his son and daughter.
When the father, 41, opened the door, the four suspects tried to rush into the house.
The father, who asked not to be identified, told Stars and Stripes that he managed to push three of them out of the door. But one of them ran upstairs and attacked his wife, he said.
The father then grabbed a kitchen knife and ran upstairs, where he found the man choking his wife while she was on the floor, according to a court statement. The woman sustained substantial injuries, the statement said.
The father stabbed the suspect twice and the man ran out of the house, fleeing with the three other attackers in a car. The 43-year-old man was later found injured on the sidewalk in Krickenbach and died from blood loss, police said.
In May, German authorities cleared the American of using excessive force following a required investigation.