Soldier accused in Frankfurt stabbing goes on trial this week
After more than 10 months in pre-trial confinement, a U.S. Army soldier is scheduled to go to court this week to face a charge of attempted premeditated murder in the stabbing of a German woman last April.
Pvt. Charles M. Savage, who is based in Baumholder, Germany, also faces a couple of lesser charges — being absent without leave and violating a restriction, or order. An earlier charge of making a false official statement was thrown out.
Savage’s civilian defense attorney, David Court, indicated last week that his client intends to plead not guilty to the most serious charge.
“The panel will have to decide if he is guilty of attempted premeditated murder or not,” Court said.
If convicted of attempted premeditated murder, Savage faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances, according to Maj. Michael Indovina, spokesman for the 1st Armored Division.
On April 11, 2005, Savage, who is now 25, allegedly stabbed a 31-year-old German woman seven times at her Frankfurt apartment, a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said last spring. German authorities held Savage for six weeks before transferring authority to the Army on May 18.
The victim, who was not identified by name, told police Savage had been sleeping on her couch for about three weeks prior to the attack, said Dorris Moeller-Scheu, a spokeswoman for the German prosecutor’s office. On the night of the attack, the victim recalled waking up to the sight of Savage “sitting on her bed, stabbing her,” the spokeswoman said.
At the time, the motive for the alleged attack was unclear.
Army prosecutors trying the case declined to comment prior to the start of the trial, Indovina said.
The trial, which will be held at the Wiesbaden Army Airfield courtroom, is scheduled to start Tuesday afternoon, though a jury is not expected to be seated until Wednesday. The trial should last at least a couple of days.
“[Savage] is anxious to get this (case) behind him,” Court said.