Eren Toben of Berlin, Germany, took the news hard that his girlfriend, 19-year-old Maria Peiner, was pregnant.
Toben, 20, is not the first man to learn he is about to father an unwanted child. According to the World Health Organization, some 16 million females between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year.
But Toben’s “solution” to his troubles was as novel as it was grotesquely depraved. According to the Mirror, he lured Peiner into his car on the premise that they were going shopping for baby clothes. He drove instead to a wooded area on the outskirts of the city, where he stabbed her with a bread knife, poured gasoline on her, and lit a match. Her charred remains were discovered the next day by a hiker. Toben’s fingerprints were on the handle of a knife found near the body.
Among the more gruesome details revealed at the trial was the admission that Peiner was still conscious and moving as Toben doused her with accelerant.
Judge Regina Alex, who presided over the trial of Toben and a 20-year-old accomplice named Daniel Mueller, said of Toben:
For him the crime was a solution, he wanted a free, happy life which he had control over.
He abused Maria’s love for him to lure her into an ambush.
Of his accomplice the judge said:
He acted for the sole purpose of taking pleasure in the destruction of another human being’s life.
Both Toben and Mueller remained silent during the trial. Both men have been sentenced to 14 years.