Woodga Menelik
Woodga Menelik Photo by Motti Kimchi
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Petach Tikvah court on Wednesday sentenced Woodga Menelik to 18 years and 9 months in jail  for the killing of Uri Chen, a 20-year-old Golani Brigade soldier, during a violent argument 10 months ago.

Menelik was convicted of homicide and illegal possession of a knife, for which he received an additional two-year suspended sentence.

On the night of the incident, Chen was among a group of youths gathered in a schoolyard in Rishon Lezion. Menelik arrived and the two broke into argument, during which Menelik stabbed Chen in the stomach, and fled. Chen was taken for medical treatment but died of his wounds within hours.

Menelik initially claimed self-defense, saying Chen was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and had become aggressive and threatening to the point that he feared for his life. He also claimed he did not have the criminal mind necessary to commit homicide.

He later changed his story, however, and was convicted on the basis of his confession. The prosecution had asked for a 20-year sentence.

At his sentencing, it was revealed that Menelik had been convicted of a number of criminal offences from the time he was 12 years old, included possession of a knife. At the time of the incident, he had two outstanding suspended sentences, and he had served 48 months in jail. It was soon after his release before he stabbed Chen.

Judge Zechariah Caspi Caspi wrote in his summing up: "A lot has been said about the sick violence in Israeli society, and especially about the stabbing subculture. Sadly, I fear that we will still have more to say about it, because of these and others. This violence is eating us up from the inside."

Caspi added: "The reaction to this kind of act must be harsh and decisive. If we have failed, by not educating our youth to prevent violence, to restrain themselves, to be tolerant, and to solve interpersonal conflicts peacefully – all we can do now is what is demanded of us, to enforce the law."

He concluded: "Anyone who wields a knife must know that he will face serious punishment, even just for possession - all the more if he puts it to use and even more so if he harms another. A fatal attack must be punished harshly."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petach Tikvah court on Wednesday sentenced Woodga Menelik to 18 years and 9 months in jail for the killing of Uri Chen, a 20-year-old Golani Brigade soldier, during a violent argument 10 months ago.

Menelik was convicted of homicide and illegal possession of a knife, for which he received an additional two-year suspended sentence.

On the night of the incident, Chen was among a group of youths gathered in a schoolyard in Rishon Lezion. Menelik arrived and the two broke into argument, during which Menelik stabbed Chen in the stomach, and fled. Chen was taken for medical treatment but died of his wounds within hours.

Menelik initially claimed self-defense, saying Chen was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and had become aggressive and threatening to the point that he feared for his life. He also claimed he did not have the criminal mind necessary to commit homicide.

He later changed his story, however, and was convicted on the basis of his confession. The prosecution had asked for a 20-year sentence.

At his sentencing, it was revealed that Menelik had been convicted of a number of criminal offences from the time he was 12 years old, included possession of a knife. At the time of the incident, he had two outstanding suspended sentences, and he had served 48 months in jail. It was soon after his release before he stabbed Chen.

Judge Zechariah Caspi Caspi wrote in his summing up: "A lot has been said about the sick violence in Israeli society, and especially about the stabbing subculture. Sadly, I fear that we will still have more to say about it, because of these and others. This violence is eating us up from the inside."

Caspi added: "The reaction to this kind of act must be harsh and decisive. If we have failed, by not educating our youth to prevent violence, to restrain themselves, to be tolerant, and to solve interpersonal conflicts peacefully – all we can do now is what is demanded of us, to enforce the law."

He concluded: "Everyone that wields a knife should know that he will face serious punishment, even just for possession - all the more if he puts it to use and even more so if he harms another. A fatal attack must be punished harshly."