A 24-year-old African man living illegally in Austria was sentenced for life for choking an American woman to death after discovering her in bed with another man.
The convicted man, identified only as Abdou I, killed Lauren Mann in her flat in Vienna in January. Forensic experts believe the killer suffocated her with a pillow while having sex leading to her death. Although he denied the murder charges, the jury found him guilty and judge Ulrich Nachtlberger sentenced him to life imprisonment. The judge ruled that "the very highest punishment is appropriate" for the man who committed a crime of the "lowest possible order". The judge said the accused had "shamelessly abused the caring nature and trust" of his victim.
Mann, who worked as a domestic help, had reportedly offered Abdou to stay at her place when the authorities threatened him with deportation. They were soon involved in a sexual relationship. However, the day before Mann's murder, Abdou allegedly caught her lying next to an Afghan teenager in her flat. DNA evidence reportedly established Mann's sexual contacts with both men.
Mann's half-undressed body was found lying face down on a mattress when firemen entered her flat after breaking down the door. Her employer suspected something wrong and alerted the police when Mann, a nanny to her child, did not pick up the child from school, The Local reported.
Nine days after the body was discovered, the accused was arrested from a refugee home in Switzerland, but was deported back to Austria in early April.
Abdou's lawyer, Astrid Wagner, is reportedly planning to appeal the verdict, which if sustained, will mean that Abdou will have to serve a sentence of at least 21 years before becoming eligible for parole.