Ben-Dror charged with murder
Netanya man allegedly killed his 3 children, attempted suicide.
By DAN IZENBERG, JPOST.COM STAFF
August 16, 2010 11:29
2 minute read.
Netanya Murder 311.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Itai Ben-Dror was charged in the Petah Tikva District Court on Monday with three counts of premeditated murder for allegedly killing his three children in Netanya last month.
In the indictment, the state accused Ben-Dror of making preparations to kill his two sons and one daughter, Omer, 10, Roni, eight and Or, five, throughout the month of July and carrying out the murder on July 23, the birthday of his former wife, Lilach Shem-Tov.
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Ben-Dror’s attorney, Ran Alon, was expected to file a request that he be sent for psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he was sane enough to stand trial.
Meanwhile, prosecutors were expected to ask that Ben-Dror be remanded in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him.
The 38-year-old was arrested on July 24 after rescue personnel who responded to a call from his adoptive father found him in bed in his apartment next to his dead children. All three of them had stab wounds across their bodies and were covered with a blanket.
According to the indictment, the defendant stabbed Or 29 times, Omer 54 times and Roni 70 times in the chest and stomach as they slept.
The indictment also said that Ben- Dror bought an 18 cm. butcher’s knife in Tel Aviv at the beginning of July and a 13 cm. butcher’s knife in Netanya on July 17. Four days later, he bought tape to cover his children’s mouths during the murders.
Ben-Dror wrote suicide letters on July 21 and prepared a suitcase with money, clothing and cleaning materials in case his suicide attempt failed. When he came to pick up the children from his former wife’s home, he brought her NIS 500 and behaved especially nice to her, according to the indictment.
On July 23, the day of the murder, Ben-Dror took his children for breakfast at a coffee shop, and later to a circus and for supper. They arrived home at 7:30 p.m. and the defendant gave each of them a sleeping pill that he crushed into their drink. He began his murder spree at 10:45 p.m., the indictment said.
When questioned by reporters at Monday’s indictment hearing, Ben- Dror said only, “My children, Or, Omer and Roni, forever.”
He was answered by relatives of the children’s mother, including her brother Albert Shem-Tov, who repeatedly told the accused, “Look me in the eye, Itai, lift your head and look me in the eye and say you’re sorry for what you did.”
Ben-Dror did not respond.
His attorney asked the court to lift the requirement that his client be kept chained to his bed 24 hours a day to prevent him from attempting suicide. The court refused the request.
The children were killed two months after Ben-Dror was discharged from a psychiatric hospital, where he had been hospitalized for several months for severe depression.
He has reportedly tried to kill himself at least six times in the past.