A senior citizen’s call to the emergency number takes around six minutes, then it breaks off. The man is dead. His ex-wife is said to have hit him with a hammer and then set him on fire. A verdict against her was overturned and the appeal process is now beginning.

A senior woman has confessed to hitting her ex-husband in the head with a butcher’s hammer. The defender of the 86-year-old read a corresponding statement on Wednesday at the start of the revision process. According to the public prosecutor’s office in Konstanz, when the 73-year-old survived the attack, she poured petrol over it and set it on fire. Parts of the house also caught fire. The man died in agony.

The German is accused before the district court of Constance. However, the revision process takes place in the premises of the district court in Schwäbisch Gmünd, because the accused has severe health problems and is being held in the prison in Schwäbisch Gmünd. The elderly woman had already been sentenced to eleven years in prison for murder and arson resulting in death in 2020, but appealed. The Federal Court of Justice overturned the verdict, so that the case is now being re-negotiated.

In her statement, the senior described the increasingly bad relationship with her long-divorced ex-husband. The marriage of the two did not last five years. Nevertheless, she moved into a house with her former husband, and she described living together as a community of convenience. The 73-year-old wanted to throw her out of the house.

That triggered existential fears in the elderly woman because she didn’t know where else to live, the statement said. The accused’s relationship with their daughter, their ex-husband and two sons from another marriage was difficult, and they didn’t have any friends either. Fearing being out on the street, she grabbed a butcher’s hammer and hit the man on the head with it – without intending to kill him. She has no memories of what happened next.

The public prosecutor’s office, on the other hand, assumes several hits with a butcher’s hammer. After the 73-year-old survived this, contrary to expectations, he is said to have dialed the emergency call. The court played a six-minute recording of the phone call. It can be heard how the man initially describes that his wife attacked him with a hammer. “I need an ambulance because my wife hit me on the head with a hammer,” the man said. He also says in the recording that she wants to set it on fire. And finally only “I’m on fire.” According to the public prosecutor’s office, the fire department recovered the body of the 73-year-old.

A psychiatric expert, at the request of the defense attorney, assessed whether the elderly woman was still fit to stand trial and concluded that she was. In the conversation, the accused told him that from her point of view the act was “a very unfortunate story”. She is also said to have asserted: “I’m not a murderer.” The verdict is expected in mid-February.