The Petah Tikva District Court yesterday accepted the plea bargain reached with Natalia Karlik and sentenced her to 13 years in jail (plus a suspended sentence ) in the killing of Edward Oshrenko, and not in the murder of his entire family. The sentence also covered the crimes of conspiring to commit a crime and destroying evidence.
"The accused betrayed the deceased and their families, who saw her as a family member," Judges Avraham Tal, Ruth Lorch and Zvi Dotan wrote in their verdict. "We believe the gravity of the accused's conduct, the need to defend the sacred value of human life and to root out violence from our midst, together with the need to deter [others] from such actions, justify a more severe punishment than the one suggested."
The judges, however, said they decided to honor the plea bargain's suggested sentence in view of the considerable amending of the charge sheet against Karlik, a reduction from six charges of manslaughter to one. While they noted they could not ignore the surviving member of the family, Yana Oshrenko, who rejected the plea bargain, the public interest demands the honoring of plea bargains.
In 2008, 32-year-old Dmitry Oshrenko, his 28-year-old wife and their children, aged three and seven months, were found dead in their Rishon Letzion apartment, along with grandparents, both 56. Five of the six victims were stabbed. Natalia Karlik's husband, Damian Karlik, is the main accused in the case, and his attorney, Uri Keinan, told the court he would not need Natalia's testimony in presenting his defense.
Natalia Karlik's public defense lawyer, Avi Cohen, said the plea bargain was "balanced and reasonable." She did not participate in the killing but knew what her husband planned. Cohen said: "Natalia understands she must serve a long time in prison but is happy that her legal process is over."
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