For her part in the 2003 murder of Tiberias teenager Dana Bennet, Y, the former girlfriend of the prosecution's lead suspect Yihya Farhan, was convicted in the Nazareth District Court Thursday on the charge of accessory to murder.
The charge was reduced from murder after Y signed a plea bargain with the state prosecutor the day before in exchange for her testimony against Farhan. Y was 15-years-old when the killings occurred and her testimony was key in solving the case.
Y was also convicted of accessory to murder in the death of Czech tourist Sylvia Molrova, who she allegedly helped Farhan kill in July 2003.
The prosecution is asking for a sentence of 14 years in prison for the two counts of accessory to murder, while her defense lawyers are asking for a maximum of nine years.
Vickey Bennet, Dana's mother, told reporters she wanted Y to get a longer prison sentence for what she did to her daughter, but said she understood the importance of Y's testimony in getting Farhan convicted. "She is still a murderer in my eyes," said Bennet.
According to the indictment, on the night of August 1, 2003, Farhan and Y drove to Tiberias. They enticed Bennet into the car and drove to a secluded olive grove where Farhan strangled Bennet to death. The two then purchased gasoline and retuned to the grove to burn her body.
The indictment also said that Y helped Farhan choke and drown Molrova in the Zalmon River a month earlier.
Attorney Iris Shiran, who is representing the state in Y's case, said that they agreed to the reduced charge out of consideration for Y's young age at the time of the murder, because of her relationship with Farhan and because of her complete cooperation in the investigation against Farhan, which lead to two additional murder charges.
Y's lawyer, Issam Tannous, said the plea bargain was offered because the prosecution feared he had evidence that could lead to a release or a mistrial.
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