2 Israeli Teens Suspected of Beating Sudanese Man to Death Avoid Murder Charge

Though police recommended murder charge, prosecutor failed to prove the youths who allegedly beat a man for an hour and a half intended to kill him.

Illustration: A man in handcuffs.
Eyal Varshavsky

Two youths from Petah Tikva will be indicted for manslaughter on Sunday, after allegedly beating a man to death last month, despite the police pressing for a murder charge.

The two are accused of hitting the Sudanese man on the head and all over his body during the course of 90 minutes – starting at around 12:30 A.M. until 2 A.M. – in five separate incidents on November 14.

Police ruled out racism as a motive for the attack.

Prosecutors will file the indictment in Central District Court, Lod, on Sunday. The police recommended indicting the two youths, aged 16 and 19, for murder. But prosecutors have found it difficult to find evidence for the premeditation required to secure a murder conviction.

The accused used only their hands to hit the man, and didn’t use any weapons or sharp objects, as originally suspected.

Prosecutors said they could only comment on the case once the indictment was filed.

The two are suspected of beating the man, who allegedly smelled strongly of alcohol, after he approached a group of 16-year-old girls who were sitting near city hall, and began talking to them. The suspects were acquainted with the girls and allegedly continued to beat him even after he moved away from the girls.

Witnesses said some people tried to stop the two from beating the victim.

The incident was filmed by security cameras, and sources who viewed the footage called the incident “shocking and especially callous. The man was drunk and didn’t seem to understand what was happening.”

The girls told police that they felt harassed by the man and moved to a nearby spot, where he again approached them. They said they again asked him to leave and not to talk to them anymore.

The police found that the man did not touch or physically harass the girls.

The man was rushed to Beilinson Hospital, Petah Tikva, in serious condition with head injuries. Four days later, on November 18, he died from his injuries.

The 16-year-old minor was arrested immediately after the Sudanese man was hospitalized, while the 19-year-old, who is the main suspect in the killing, fled and was only arrested a week later.