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Three American teens convicted of killing Germans serve half of sentences, return to U.S.

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 15, 2004

DARMSTADT, Germany — The three teens convicted of first-degree murder for throwing rocks from a pedestrian bridge in Darmstadt that killed two German motorists in February 2000 have been released from detention early on good behavior.

Jesse McGriff, Deo Bissessar and James Wise each served half of their 8½-, eight- and seven-year sentences, respectively, according to a report Wednesday in the Echo, a Darmstadt newspaper. The sentences were handed down to each by the district court Dec. 22, 2000.

The three are back in the United States with their families, according to the newspaper.

Wise was released in September 2003, while McGriff and Bissessar were released together May 10, the paper reported. Bissessar remained past the halfway point of his sentence to finish work on a painting course, the newspaper said.

The three had been held in facilities in Wiesbaden and Rockenberg, near Butzbach, since 2000. McGriff and Bissessar were 18 and Wise 15 at the time of their sentencing, and they were sons of soldiers stationed in Darmstadt at the time of the incident.

Stones as big as 18 pounds killed two women drivers — 41-year-old Karin Rothermel and 20-year-old Sandra Ottman — as well as made huge holes through car windshields traveling on the B3 between Darmstadt and nearby Eberstadt.

According to newspaper reports, German officials said the three are of no threat to Germans anymore since they are back in the States.


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