The murder trial of the fatal shots at two police officers in the Kusel district in Rhineland-Palatinate begins on Tuesday in front of the Kaiserslautern district court. The accused is 39-year-old Andreas S., who is said to have shot the police officer during a traffic check on January 31 to cover up poaching. The indictment reveals the cold blood of the crime.
The black commemorative plaque is not far from the crime scene near Ulmet in Kusel, Rhineland-Palatinate. “Two of us,” reads the headline. A retired police officer used donations to pave a small square to commemorate the fate of his young colleague and her patrol car partner. On that early morning of January 31, the two police officers are said to have been killed by targeted shots by poacher Andreas S.
In their indictment, the public prosecutor accuses the 38-year-old businessman of two counts of murder, among other things. Accordingly, the shooter wanted to cover up his illegal animal shootings that night. In addition, in the event of a guilty verdict, the prosecutors have suggested examining the question of subsequent preventive detention. Andreas S. would not be free even after his prison sentence.
The cold-blooded execution of Yasmin B., 24, and her colleague Alexander K., 29, during a traffic stop caused considerable horror. Nationwide, tens of thousands of police officers commemorated the two victims in a minute of mourning.
From Tuesday onwards, the suspected gunman and his hunting assistant Florian V., 33, have to answer to the jury in Kaiserslautern. It is also about collective, commercial poaching. The prosecutors also accuse him of evading punishment. After the murders, the assistant is said to have helped to clean the remains of blood from the murder vehicle. According to the indictment, he burned the clothing and he also hid the murder weapons in a hiding place.
Shortly after his arrest, the Hartz IV recipient made extensive confessions and revealed the weapons cache to the death investigators. Against this background, his defense attorney Christian Kessler “does not see criminal liability in this regard as my client himself revealed where the weapons can be found.” The main defendant has not yet commented on the allegations.
Andreas S. has a CV with many breaks. The investigations revealed that the accused already had a tendency towards violence at school. After the death of his father, he apparently began drinking to excess. At some point, however, he became dry and got himself under control again.
In his circle of acquaintances, S. was considered a gun nut, a brilliant marksman with a great penchant for hunting. However, he was always negative. In October 2004, for example, the Saarlander went hunting rabbits with a friend in the Bexbach area as a leaseholder of a district. Without a good view of the target, he fired his shotgun. He accidentally hit his fellow hunter in the neck and chest. The bullet severely injured the eye area in particular.
In 2006, the Saarbrücken district court sentenced the hunter to a fine of 4,500 euros for negligent bodily harm. At the time, the criminal court credited the defendant with the fact that he had made a confession. The delinquent also paid the victim 5,000 euros in damages.
Andreas S. ran a bakery and a game trade. At some point, business started to go badly. The businessman was put on record several times for poaching. The tradesman, known for his choleric outbursts, apparently hoped that the animals killed illegally would boost his business again. Especially since the investigations against him always came to nothing.
This was also the case in 2017. At that time, Andreas S. had lost his lease and his hunting license. In a foreign hunting ground he is said to have shot a deer one day in September. A friend startled him and tried to stop him. However, the alleged poacher is said to have raced towards the witness with his car, so that he could only save himself by jumping to the side.
When the victim filed a criminal complaint, the suspect came up with two witnesses who gave him an alibi for the time of the crime. The public prosecutor’s office was forced to drop the case.
In the period that followed, Andreas S. continued to go downhill. Financially, he seems to have been up to his neck in water. In connection with his bakery and a mobile snack bar, there are further proceedings for delaying insolvency and unpaid social security contributions and wages for his employees. A judicial spokesman put the damage at 100,000 euros. Further investigations are ongoing into insurance fraud.
After losing his hunting license and gun ownership card, Andreas S. used his wife’s gun cabinet, according to the public prosecutor. She was also a passionate hunter and apparently owned a whole arsenal of rifles, ammunition and silencers. The judiciary is investigating the spouse for negligent homicide and violation of the weapons law. The procedure was separated.
According to the indictment, Andreas S. tried to make ends meet by poaching in the weeks before the crime. He hired Florian V. as a helper. The two went stalking wild boar and fallow deer with night vision goggles. The assistant was supposed to track down the killed animals with a thermal imaging camera, break them open and load them into a van. Ten euros each were guaranteed. The hunt was so successful that the two men made a decent cut when they gave the game meat to their customers.
On that night of January 31, the two poachers wanted to provide supplies. Andreas S. had taken his wife’s shotgun and a collapsible hunting rifle with a silencer. The hunt was successful. 22 wild animals were in the van when a police patrol approached around four in the morning. According to the investigation, Yasmin B. asked Andreas S. for the papers. When the inspectors discovered the dead animals in the hold, police commissioner Alexander K. ran to the patrol car in the opposite lane. He announced that poaching was suspected. He neither gave personal details nor the license plate number of the checked vehicle. In the meantime, according to the indictment, Andreas S. pulled his shotgun out of the car under a pretext and shot the police officer. His victim fell to the ground on his stomach and didn’t move anymore.
According to the indictment, the man in his late thirties then fired the second cartridge at his colleague. He radioed again: “Come quickly, they’re shooting at us.”
Meanwhile, Andreas S. is said to have grabbed his hunting rifle and a handful of cartridges. The weapon at the ready is said to have approached the police officer. The poacher is said to have hit Alexander K. in the buttocks with the first shot. The officer fled into a field and emptied his magazine without injuring his attacker. But he hit his target in the leg, then in the stomach. When the police commissioner lay defenseless in front of him, the accused is said to have shot him in the head at close range.
According to the indictment, Andreas S. then went back and asked his helper to look for the identity papers. “Otherwise I’ll put you next to it,” Andreas S. is said to have threatened. The shooter himself looked for Yasmin B.’s notepad to cover up any telltale signs. During the check, S. noticed that the young woman was still alive. According to the investigation, he again grabbed his shotgun and fired her in the head.
His assistant later described what happened during his interrogations in detail. The investigators were able to confirm the statements through the forensic investigations and complex crime scene reconstructions – up to and including the amateurish escape. On the way to an acquaintance where Andreas S. wanted to process the killed animals, the van stopped. The poachers used a cell phone to get a friend who towed the two of them.
Identification papers were found at the crime scene, which quickly led to the two suspects. While his hunting assistant can hope for a comparatively mild sentence, not least because of his confessions, Andreas S. can expect life imprisonment. It remains to be seen whether he will break his silence during the trial and confess to the allegations.