Verdict expected in trial for 2009 Rishon Lezion murder

Prosecutors seeking six life sentences for Damian Karlik; Karlik initially confessed to the murders but later retracted that confession.

Justice gavel court law book judge 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Justice gavel court law book judge 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Central District Court in Petah Tikva is expected to reach a verdict on Monday in the trial of Damian Karlik, the man charged with murdering six members of the Oshrenko family in Rishon Lezion in October 2009.
If Karlik is convicted of the charges, state prosecutors are expected to ask the court for six life sentences and additional punishments for the other charges against him, including attempting to destroy evidence.
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Karlik’s co-defendant, his wife, Natalia, who was charged alongside her husband in connection with the murders, was sentenced to 13-years imprisonment last November after being convicted in a plea bargain of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit a crime and destroying evidence.
According to the indictment, Karlik, 39, is alleged to have planned and carried out the murders of Ludmilla and Edward Oshrenko, both 56, their son Dmitry and his wife Tatiana, 32 and 28, and their children Revital, three, and Natanel, three months old, before attempting to set the house on fire to destroy evidence linking him to the murder.
However, during his trial Karlik’s lawyer, Uri Keinan, argued another man committed the murders, after forcing Karlik to be present in the Oshrenkos’ apartment during the killings.
According to the indictment, the motive for the murders had been Karlik’s sense of humiliation and his increased hatred of the Oshrenkos, after they fired him from a waitstaff job at their exclusive Rishon Lezion restaurant, the Premier.
The Oshrenkos asked Karlik to leave after suspecting him of stealing several bottles of alcohol, the indictment charges.
After Karlik was fired, his wife, Natalia, began working at the restaurant and the couple allegedly began to plot revenge on the Oshrenko family, at first deciding to rob the Premier. As part of the plan, Natalia allegedly stole the Oshrenkos’ apartment keys and copied them.
However, the alleged robbery plans resulted in a bloody massacre, the indictment charges.
Shortly before 2 a.m., on October 17, 2009, Karlik allegedly went to the Oshrenkos’ apartment.
First, he is alleged to have woken Ludmilla, stabbing her in the stomach as she cried for help.
It is alleged that after that murder, Natalia called her husband and told him the rest of the Oshrenkos were on their way home. Karlik then is alleged to have brutally stabbed Edward and then Tatiana as they arrived at their apartment.
Next, Karlik allegedly strangled baby Natanel as he awoke and began to cry, hurling the baby so hard against the floor that his skull was fractured before stabbing him. Then, Karlik stabbed baby to death, the indictment states.
Finally, when Dmitry arrived home at 6 a.m., Karlik allegedly unleashed a frenzied knife attack against his former employer, stabbing him at least 38 times before attempting to set fire to the apartment.
Karlik initially confessed to the murders but later retracted that confession.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.