The primary suspect in the fatal stabbing of a Be'er Sheva man this month is expected to be charged with manslaughter, not murder, sources involved in the case said yesterday.
Eden Ohayon, 19, is due to be indicted Thursday in the May 4 death of Gadi Vichman. Ohayon has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing and killing Vichman, a 36-year-old father of two, after Vichman reportedly exited his apartment at 2 A.M. to tell a group of rowdy youths to be quiet.
Vichman's partner, Michal Levy, balked at the suggestion that Ohayon would be charged with manslaughter and not murder. "What kind of state is this?" she said, bursting into tears. "It is unthinkable that in a properly run state he should be indicted for manslaughter," Levy said.
The police and prosecution are expected to decide on the charges by Thursday, when Ohayon is to be indicted. A Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court judge yesterday extended Ohayon's remand until Thursday and released the seven other suspects to house arrest.
Last week police released an initial inquiry into the Be'er Sheva police's handling of the incident. The inquiry reportedly found that a policewoman had lied in her report about the events leading up to Vichman's death, and that she had coordinated her testimony with a municipal inspector.
Initially, police reported that a patrol car had been sent to the area after neighbors complained about the noise, but found nothing. Yet, according to the inquiry, no patrol car ever arrived at the scene. Consequently, the inquiry stated, Vichman exited his apartment alone to deal with the noisy youths, at which point he was stabbed to death.
The policewoman was suspended and the inspector was fired.
The inspector has said that on the night of the murder he wrote a parking ticket at 11:30 P.M. He said the policewoman received the call about the noise and filled out the report.
"By midnight we'd received four more calls [about the noise]. When asked if we had been there, I said 'yes' because we were," he said. "I was questioned by the municipal inspectors' office, not the police. At 2:30 A.M., after the stabbing, I arrived there. He died in my hands," he said.
The Be'er Sheva municipal workers union is demanding that the dismissed inspector be reinstated immediately.
"They want a fall guy," said union chairman Yossi Tahar. "The police are responsible for what happened, not the inspectors. It's a whitewash [attempt]."
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