Slovakia: Three suspects in beheading case of Romani man now on trial
Daniel Horváth was 37 years old and the father of a five-year-old girl when his murderers first beat him up and then chopped off his head while he was still alive. The case of his brutal murder is now before a court in Slovakia.
The tragedy occurred two days before Christmas in 2012. The murder was committed in the village of Žihárec, not far from the town of Šala.
News server TN.cz reports that two youths and the father of one of them are behind the shocking crime. Mr Horváth's girlfriend had her first opportunity to come face-to-face with his brutal murderers during the trial.
According to the indictment, the perpetrators beheaded her boyfriend while he was still alive. The Romani man was first brutally beaten up by them in a pub in Žihárec.
The 40-year-old owner of a local bar, who is also a butcher by trade, his 18-year-old son, and his son's 19-year-old friend transported Mr Horváth by wheelbarrow into the garden, where they used a meat cleaver to separate his head from his body while he was still alive. They then threw the body parts into a cesspool.
Two days later, when they knew police were looking for Mr Horváth, they removed his corpse and his head from the cesspool, put them in a barrel, and drove them by car 25 km away to the town of Šoporňa. They hid the body and head in a shaft in an abandoned slaughterhouse.
The butcher's son, Atila, initially testified that his father had cut off Mr Horváth's head. In court, however, he took all the blame, claiming to have committed the murder.
Now the father, who was suspect number one at the start of the trial, has surprisingly been released from custody. He reportedly left the country and is in the Netherlands.
The next hearing in the trial will be on 15 May. Should the men be found guilty, they could serve 25 to life.
No one knows why the trio slaughtered their victim in such a brutal way. One year ago, the father of the 19-year-old involved in the murder said he had behaved as if nothing had happened all during Christmas: "Neither I nor my wife noticed anything unusual about him," the father admitted.
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