Monday, June 19th: The summer couldn't be more pleasant outdoors, but inside courtroom 1 at Skellefteå District Court, there will be a chilling darkness for six days.
At nine o'clock in the morning, one by one, the four individuals accused of murder are led into a very hot and humid courtroom. A large number of spectators, especially from Malå and the surrounding area, are present.
According to the prosecutor, the accused individuals are part of a "family constellation," as clearly indicated in the extensive investigation of more than 2,000 pages.
It is a unique legal case for the local police district of Skellefteå, which includes Malå and Norsjö.
• Four individuals are standing trial for murder.
• Four individuals with varying degrees of connections to each other.
• Four individuals who have provided different answers regarding their guilt during police interrogations: The teenage boy has made admissions and talked extensively, while the other three deny the charges, with the 20-year-old repeating several hundred times, "I don't want to answer that."
Initially, prosecutors Andreas Nyberg and Linnea Hedström summarize the suspected criminal activities, the defense attorneys briefly respond regarding their clients' positions, and the legal representative for the plaintiff presents the claim for damages. Then, everything goes back to the prosecutor who presents the written evidence.
Norran has previously reported on the evidence gathered over the past four months.
The prosecutors highlighted what they consider to be the most important evidence. This includes DNA findings at the crime scene from the 40-year-old woman and the 20-year-old man. According to the indictment, their DNA was found on a knife discovered at the scene.
Evidence that was also emphasized included blood traces from the victim found in the woman's car and her residence. Significant focus was also placed on the prosecutors' claim that the 40-year-old woman and the 50-year-old man allegedly went to dispose of evidence after the murder, including two knives and textiles.
Another piece of evidence that the prosecutors find important is a shoe print found at the crime scene. According to the prosecutors, the shoe print belongs to the 20-year-old. However, during the search, the police did not find any shoes of that kind. "I believe the reason for that is that the shoes were burned," said prosecutor Andreas Nyberg during the trial.
The four individuals accused of murder have provided the following statements regarding the crime allegations:
Teenage boy: Admits to aggravated assault. The teenage boy states that he, the 20-year-old man, and the 40-year-old woman went to the residence of the 30-year-old victim, where the victim was initially beaten and then stabbed 20 times, mainly on the back of the body. The teenage boy admits to delivering one stab with a knife. He then says that he and the woman left the residence first, and the 20-year-old man left afterward.
20-year-old man: Denies any involvement in the murder. He claims to have been at his home address the entire evening and night.
40-year-old woman: Denies the accusations, asserting that she was at home during the evening and night. She provides explanations for the presence of her DNA on a knife at the crime scene, the victim's blood in her laundry room, and the reasons why they visited a fishing and cabin area outside Malå where the police found burned knives and textiles.
50-year-old man: Denies the accusations, stating that he was not in any vehicle when the others carried out the act of violence but was at home. A new alibi witness, previously revealed by Norran, was highlighted by lawyer Jens Nyström during the presentation of the case.
But then, it is as if time freezes and the audience holds its breath inside the courtroom at Skellefteå District Court.
Shortly after midnight on February 13, the prosecutor plays the recording of the 30-year-old's distress call. For those who have read the transcript of the call, it is shocking. However, hearing the severely tormented 30-year-old desperately fighting for his life during the 40-minute conversation with the SOS Alarm operator is one of the most harrowing and authentic exchanges ever heard in a Skellefteå courtroom.
The 30-year-old pleads repeatedly for help, while the operator tries to convey that paramedics cannot enter the apartment due to the potential presence of one or more perpetrators.
For the mother of the mortally wounded 30-year-old, who sits in the Skellefteå courtroom and listens, tears continue to flow endlessly. She hears her son utter phrases such as "I'm not ready to die," "I don't think I'll make it," and "I have no sensation in my body."
Plaintiff counsel, Linda Sundlöf dedicates over half an hour to summarizing the life and background of the 30-year-old victim, while a picture of the man is displayed on a large projector screen in the courtroom. It is mentioned that he was happy about securing a job and had a close relationship with his mother, whom he visited daily.
Sundlöf addresses the possible motive behind the knife attack. She strongly questions claims of potential offenses that the 30-year-old may have committed against individuals, which, if true, would be at least 15 years old and have never been reported to the police.
– And what he was subjected to in his residence was a pure execution, a senseless act of violence – and it is so terribly horrifying to listen to this emergency call, emphasizes Sundlöf.
Several defense attorneys also bring up, at the outset of responding to the prosecutors' presentation, the fact that the emergency call has shaken everyone in the courtroom on this exceptionally sunny Monday.
– One cannot help but be deeply affected; words are inadequate, says Erik von Ahn, representing the 20-year-old man who denies any involvement in the knife murder.
– It is absolutely horrifying to listen to this emergency call. No one should have to experience anything like that," adds Ulf Holst, the defense attorney for the female defendant.
The plan is to continue the trial with the questioning of the victim's mother and playback of previous police interrogations with the teenage boy who admitted to attacking the victim with a knife in the residence. The boy contacted the police himself and confessed, which Norran was the first to reveal in earlier articles.
However, the schedule for the proceedings is significantly delayed, so these points will be addressed this morning, Tuesday.
And on this Monday, two things shine in fiery script in courtroom 1 at Skellefteå District Court:
The lengthy, factual, and at times clinical review of four months of investigative work.
And the bottomless sorrow and despair of a mother who has lost her son.
On Friday, June 9th, the indictment was brought against the four individuals suspected of involvement in the murder. The victim was stabbed many times.
The 50-year-old man, the 40-year-old woman, a 20-year-old man, and a teenage boy under 18 years old have been charged with complicity in the murder. For two of them, the 50-year-old and the 40-year-old, other charges have also been brought.