STA, 4 August 2022 - A retrial for a man charged with murder of his former partner and her parents on Christmas 2020 is coming to an end at the Ptuj District Court. While the defendant changed his plea from guilty in the first trial to not guilty, the prosecution once again proposes life imprisonment. The verdict will be delivered on Monday.
The defendant, Silvo Drevenšek, has insisted during the course of the retrial that he could not remember the killings due to excessive drunkenness and blamed his acts on alcoholism. He also showed remorse.
The first trial was quashed because six instead of five judges ruled on the case. The retrial started in June, featuring a number of witnesses and court-appointed experts, with closing words being delivered on Thursday.
The indictment states that at Christmas 2020 Drevenšek murdered his partner and then his mother-in-law and father-in-law. The latter two killings took place in front of his 4-year-old son.
He stabbed all three victims a number of times with a kitchen knife and drove off in a car, stopping at two houses, where he demanded wine. The defendant does not dispute these acts, but blames them on alcohol abuse.
The prosecution meanwhile says he committed the killings for financial gain, wanting to avoid having to split his possessions in the face of separation.
The prosecutor said he threatened his father and mother in law with murder several times, adding that Drevenšek was indeed drunk when he committed the killings, but not too drunk to not be able to control his actions. Most of the alcohol he had in his system after he was detained Drevenšek consumed after the killings, the prosecutor claims.
The prosecution demands three 30-year sentences and a 4-year sentence for neglecting a minor, or a cumulative sentence of life in prison.
The prosecution also proposed extension of detention for Drevenšek due to risk of reoffending. Allegedly Drevenšek could hurt the brother of his former partner and his girlfriend, who are now taking care of his son.
The brother expressed support for the proposed sentence today and has previously said that the change in Drevenšek's plea was a tactical move.
Drevenšek's lawyer meanwhile insisted that the prosecution failed to prove that the perpetrator killed out of base motives. "We do not have a credible expert opinion that could provide corroborating answers to key questions. We know exactly what happened but we still don't know why the tragedy happened."
The defence claims the killings were committed out of impulse, without preparation. "He could not understand his actions, couldn't control himself."
However, expert opinions provided by court-appointed clinical psychologist, psychiatrist and forensic medicine expert do not support the defendant's defence. Because of the defence's doubts about the opinions, the three experts took the stand again yesterday.
The psychiatrist and the psychologist both diagnosed him with a borderline personality disorder, one classifying it as unspecified and the other as mixed. They both testified yesterday that the difference between the two was very small.
They also said that their diagnosis was not very different from narcissism, which was the diagnosis by a psychiatrist at UKC Maribor hospital shortly after the killings. The disorders have one thing in common: the individual has a constant need for attention, they said.
Forensic medicine expert meanwhile explained the method she used to come to the conclusion that the amount of alcohol in his system had not been as high as to prevent him from being unaware of his actions.