A nurse was convicted Monday and sentenced to life in prison for killing 28
of his patients at a hospital in southern Germany.
Stephan Letter was found guilty of 12
counts of murder, 15 of manslaughter and one of mercy killing in what has been
described as Germany's biggest series of killings since World War II.
Stephan Letter waits to hear the
verdict at the state court in Kempten, southern Germany, Monday, Nov. 20,
2006. The former nurse was convicted Monday of killing 28 of his patients
at a hospital in southern Germany and sentenced to life in
According to evidence presented at his nine-month trial, Letter, 28, killed
his victims by injecting them with a cocktail of drugs.
Letter testified at the start of his trial in February that he had killed
patients, but said he could not remember how many.
Letter's attorney, Juergen Fischer, had argued that his client was motivated
by compassion for seriously ill patients.
Presiding Judge Harry Rechner said Letter was an active proponent of assisted
suicide and appeared to want to put an end to what he deemed to be senseless
But, Rechner told the state court in Kempten, the evidence showed he "was
interested, at best, superficially in the state of health of the patients."
The deaths at the hospital in Sonthofen, southwest of Munich in the Bavarian
Alps, began in February 2003, less than a month after the nurse started working
The last suspicious death occurred in July 2004, just before his arrest.
The patients were between 40 and 94 years old, though most were older than