American Man Sentenced to Life After Killing Woman at German Castle

A German court on Monday convicted an American man of raping and murdering a woman and attempting to murder her companion near the Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the country’s most famous tourist destinations.

A nearby bridge known for its panoramic views of the fairy-tale castle became a crime scene in June when the 31-year-old man attacked two young American women, who had been on a trip to Europe after their college graduation.

In imposing a life sentence, the court established the “particular gravity of the guilt,”a spokesman for the court said, adding that the man was charged with murder and rape resulting in the death in relation to the first victim, and attempted murder and grievous bodily harm in relation to the second. This means that the defendant will not be eligible for parole after the customary 15 years, though possibly at a later date.

(In Germany, a life sentence is not for a specific time period. A convicted person is usually allowed to apply for parole after 15 years and then, if rejected, to reapply every two years.)

Following privacy laws, German authorities did not name the defendant or the women, but family and friends identified the victims as 21-year-old Eva Liu, who died, and Kelsey Chang, 22. The two friends had recently graduated from the University of Illinois.

According to the police, the two friends did not know the attacker, but had met him that day by the Pöllat Bridge, which looks out onto Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria, near the Austrian border. The manpersuaded the women to join him on a little-used trail leading into the forest, toward picturesque cliffs surrounding the castle.

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