German woman appeals life sentence for killing toddlers
A lack of forensic evidence did not stop courts from finding Christine Schuerrer guilty of murder.
Stockholm -- A German woman who was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this month for beating two young children to death in Sweden in March appealed her sentence on Wednesday.
The appeal was filed at the district court in Vasteras, 100 kilometers west of Stockholm. A possible appeal hearing is likely to be held in mid-December.
Lawyer Per-Ingvar Ekblad urged the appeals court to overturn the district court sentence, saying that a member of the jury members was biased.
Earlier, the juror had said in a newspaper interview that she believed Christine Schuerrer was guilty and left the jury.
Ekblad also argued that his client had been convicted without forensic evidence such as DNA or fingerprints, which linked her to the crime scene.
Schuerrer was convicted of killing the two children, a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl and injuring their mother.
In addition to the life sentence, the court also ruled that Schuerrer should be deported from Sweden and ordered her to pay damages of almost 600,000 kronor (84,000 dollars), which will mainly go to the mother of the children.
In its ruling, the district court said that the victims had been "subjected to repeated beatings to the head."
The district court concluded that Schuerrer had been in Arboga, central Sweden on March 17, the day of the attack.
The court concurred with the prosecution that jealousy had fueled her desire to harm her ex-boyfriend and his new partner.
The 32 year old student has denied she attacked the children and their mother but the court said there was a sufficient circumstantial evidence to convict her.
She was extradited to Sweden at the end of April. The lengthy trial opened in July with more than 50 witnesses summoned. Due to a lack of forensic evidence, a murder weapon and DNA linking the accused to the crime scene, the prosecution relied on witnesses during the trail.