Plinner murder suspect unfit for trial, defense claims

Teenager who stabbed lawyer outside her home is mentally retarded, attorneys argue.

anat plinner 88 (photo credit: )
anat plinner 88
(photo credit: )
The high-school student charged with the April 2006 murder of attorney Anat Plinner at the doorstep of her house is mentally retarded and thus unfit to stand trial in the case, her attorneys told the Tel Aviv District Court Monday. Attorneys Moshe and Shira Maroz argued that the 18-year-old youth, whose identity has been gagged due to his age, could not be considered to have criminal responsibility for his actions. At the outset of the trial Monday, the youth confessed to carrying out the murder, but claimed he was not responsible for his actions. The court was presented with results of an intelligence test carried out by Abarbanel Psychiatric Hospital which concluded that he has an IQ low enough to indicate light to moderate retardation. But the hospital's final opinion warned not to take the finding of that particular test as indicative, as previous tests carried out on the youth indicated much higher IQ levels. Should the defense attorneys successfully argue that the youth suffers from retardation, the question will arise whether his IQ is low enough to hamper his ability to differentiate between right and wrong. However, the Plinner family's attorney, Dr. Dana Fogech, argued that the defendant successfully completed 12 years of regular schooling - a feat that would have presumably been extremely difficult if he were in fact retarded. The youth stands accused of stabbing the attorney and mother outside her home in Ramat Hasharon in April 2006. Before dying during the ambulance journey to hospital, Plinner said a young man whom she did not know had stabbed her, but for two years, detectives were left without a lead in the case, until they arrested the then-17-year-old last year for stealing a moped. They were surprised to discover that a routine DNA sample taken from the suspect matched fingerprints taken by forensic officers from the Plinner murder scene two years earlier. After initially denying the killing, the youth confessed, providing police with details that proved he was at the scene during the murder and re-enacting the brutal attack.