Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A German video game addict who spent so much time online he could no longer tell the difference between reality and the virtual world has been locked up for life after hearing voices that told him to kill this young mother and her infant son who were his neighbours.
Gardening assistant Dominik Schreiber, 21, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for murdering his 27-year-old neighbour Michelle J. and attempting to murder her son Jason, 4, on Monday during the trial on 21st June, 2021. The court heard that when the sentence is over, he would be moved to a psychiatric institute where it is unlikely he would ever be freed.
The man spent hours playing his favourite online game “Avakin Life” before he became too influenced by it and started hearing voices telling him to do things. As a result, he had sneaked into his neighbour Michelle J.’s ground floor property through a window and stabbed her 41 times while she was asleep in November 2020.
Schreiber, who investigators found created avatars in order to have sex with other characters online, also cut her son’s throat once in an attempt to silence him but the four-year-old boy miraculously survived.
After the incident, Schreiber sent a message to an online friend on WhatsApp saying “I killed two people” along with images of the crime, believing he had murdered the victim and her son as well.
The friend then informed the police who broke into the flat after hearing Jason crying for his dead mother, and found him seriously injured with multiple stab wounds.
Schreiber was arrested shortly after and charged with murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the city of Essen in Germany.
In an earlier trial the 21-year-old gamer told the Essen District Court that he started hearing voices as he became too much involved into the virtual world which at some point shifted over into real life.
According to Schreiber the voices demanded he kills his family, but he could not because he reportedly loved them too much and so instead he broke into the neighbour’s house at night to carry out the brutal killing.
He confessed to the killing during a trial on Monday on 3rd May 2021 by saying: “I was only following orders because the voice told me to do something bad. I had to see what it looks like when someone dies.”
Schreiber’s lawyer, Hans Reinhart, 60, tried to bail him out of prison by claiming he was a schizophrenic and said: “The motive probably lies in his world of virtual role-playing games, he heard voices and he had to obey.”
Judge Sebastian Jordan did not except Schreiber and his lawyer’s testimonies that this excused him for what he did and told the defendant: “You have taken someone’s life.”
The judge who revealed that the boy is currently living with his father said: “He [Jason] will be reminded of the act for life. At some point the questions will come: Why do I have these scars? And where is my mother?”
Schreiber will also spend an indefinite period in a psychiatric institution after he serves his sentence, according to the judge’s orders.
According to Bild it is uncertain whether the killer will ever be released.