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Man charged in Norway bow-and-arrow attack pleads guilty to murder
18 May 2022, 12:14
Espen Andersen Brathen, 38, was appearing at Buskerud District Court.
A man charged with killing five people and wounding four others in southern Norway when he attacked strangers with a bow and arrows and knives has pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder.
Espen Andersen Brathen, 38, was reported by Norwegian news agency NTB to have said at the start of his trial at Buskerud District Court: “I admit criminal guilt for the entire charges.”
The five victims were fatally stabbed on October 13 2021.
Brathen also faces 11 counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at people with a bow and arrows in Kongsberg, a former mining town with 26,000 residents.
He is further accused of causing bodily harm, threatening behaviour, refusing to obey police orders and tossing knives at officers.
The attacks started inside a grocery shop, with Brathen arrested more than half-an-hour after he allegedly started firing arrows inside the premises and attacking people inside their homes.
The defendant listened quietly as the charges were read out on Wednesday.
Although he has confessed, Brathen may not end up in a Norwegian prison.
Prosecutors want him sentenced to compulsory mental health care, saying he was in a “strongly deviating state of mind” during last year’s attack, according to charging documents obtained by The Associated Press.
After his arrest, Brathen was admitted to a closed psychiatric ward. Three forensic psychiatric experts who assessed him concluded he was probably insane at the time of the killings.
The trial is expected to last a month.