Man gets 20 years for ‘ugly and cruel’ murder

Defendant was a minor at time of killing of Galilee kiosk worker last December.

Handcuffed 300 R (photo credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier)
Handcuffed 300 R
(photo credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier)
Judges in the Haifa District Court sentenced a minor to 20 years in prison Sunday for murder, a year after he shot and killed a kiosk owner during a robbery.
The defendant, who was 17 years and 11 months old when he shot store worker Riad Kial dead last December, admitted the charges against him in October – after the murder trial was already underway. The defendant’s name cannot be published because he was a minor at the time of the offense.
Judges Yosef Elron, Menahem Raniel and Moshe Gilad also sentenced the defendant to four years imprisonment for robbery, two years of which will run concurrently with his 20-year murder sentence.
Before being sentenced, the defendant stood up in court and made a statement in which he begged for forgiveness.
“I regret what I did,” the defendant, now aged 19, said. “I did not sleep all night, I dream about [Kial] all the time. I beg for your forgiveness and I appeal to the court to help me.”
However, passing sentence, the judges said the defendant’s actions had been “ugly and cruel,” and he had shot Kial even after the kiosk worker posed no threat to him, and in doing so had destroyed a young life.
Although the penalty for murder is life in prison, the judges said because the defendant was a minor at the time of the offense and because he admitted his role in the crime, they had decided not to impose a life sentence.
According to the indictment, last December the defendant and another minor decided to rob a Stop Market kiosk in the Western Galilee, and equipped themselves with two illegal handguns.
At around 1 a.m., the two youths entered the kiosk with the loaded guns.
They ordered the man working the night shift, 23-year-old Kial, to hand over all the store’s cash takings. Kial complied, but the defendant’s accomplice grabbed him and forced him into the kiosk’s liquor storehouse.
A struggle ensued, during which Kial tried to escape. The indictment alleged the defendant then decided to shoot and kill Kial, in order that he and his accomplice could get away with the stolen cash. According to the law, a murder conviction requires that the prosecution prove beyond reasonable doubt that a killing was premeditated.
The defendant shot Kial three times, then made off with the store’s cash register.
The kiosk worker was killed instantly.
Soon after the shooting, police arrested the defendant and his accomplice, who is being tried separately.
The court noted on Sunday that though the defendant had expressed remorse, he also said he had not planned to kill Kial, that the bullets had “just come out” of the gun and that he should therefore have been charged with manslaughter, not murder.