Six years for murder of housemate
Man gets six years in prison for chopping up unhelpful housemate.14 January 2008
MADRID - An argument about who was going to do the household chores ended in murder and the subsequent quartering of a housemate's body for convenient disposal.
On Tuesday, a judge in Alcalá de Henares, northeast of Madrid, sentenced Roman Stanislaw Szalachowski, a 40-year-old Polish man, to six years in prison for killing one of his five housemates, the Ukranian Mykola Stelmakh, on April 10, 2004, and hiding the body for almost two weeks before disposing of it.
According to testimony during the trial, an argument broke out because Stelmakh "did not cooperate in the household chores."
Then Szalachowski, who was drunk, "began to punch and kick the victim in the face, head and abdomen."
Next he took him to the yard behind the house, where he went on beating him, and tied a cord around his neck, attaching one end of it to an iron set in the wall.
"Szalachowski raised his head from the ground and held it in the air," killing his housemate, in the words of the sentence released on Tuesday.
Szalachowski's rage did not end there. The convicted man "moved the body to a tool shed and left it there, covering it with a board." There it remained until 19 April, more than a week after the murder.
Then Szalachowski hacked the body into pieces to dispose of it. He separated the head from the trunk, cutting off the arms and the lower part of the legs. During the night of 20 April, Szalachowski "put the trunk in a sports bag, and dumped it in a garbage bin near the house."
The next day, at six in the morning, he disposed of the rest, dropping it in another garbage bin about 200 metres away from the house.
Six hours later, about noon, two women found the remains in the bin, when they lifted the lid and saw a man's head inside. Shocked, they ran to a nearby cafeteria and called the police.
Two days later the police arrested the five housemates of the victim, including Szalachowski, who turned out to be the killer.
During the trial, the man confessed his crime.
The judge gave him a six-year prison sentence after ruling that his intoxicated state was an extenuating circumstance.
"His intellectual and volitional faculties were seriously impaired due to the previous consumption of alcoholic beverages," was the judge's reasoning.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / Amelia Castilla 2008]
Subject: Spanish news