Israeli Accused of Wife, Kids Found Fit to Stand Trial

Before his indictment, Nadav Sela told reporters in the courtroom that “I’m a cat” and tried to get down on his knees,

Nadav Sela, accused of killing his wife, two kids and one of their friends, in court. February 2017.
Gil Eliahu

Nadav Sela, who allegedly killed his wife, their two children and the son of a neighbor in a moshav near Tiberias in northern Israel last month, is competent to stand trial, according to a preliminary medical opinion submitted Sunday to the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court.

The opinion was submitted by the district psychiatrist after a three-week period of observation at the Shaar Menashe psychiatric hospital. The court then extended Sela’s detention until Thursday, when he will be indicted.

Before his detention hearing last month, Sela told reporters in the courtroom that “I’m a cat” and tried to get down on his knees, but policemen prevented him from doing so. He later told journalist that he’d committed adultery. Sela’s attorney, public defender Erez Moskowitz, said at the end of that hearing that Sela was not communicating with him and that the district psychiatrist had asked to extend his observation period.

Sela, 28, is suspected of stabbing to death his wife, Dor Karsenty, 23, their two children – Binyamin, eight months old, and Yosef, 22 months – and their 11-year-old neighbor, Nahman Atiya, in the community of Migdal. Sela also allegedly stabbed and wounded Nahman’s brother, Natan, aged 10, as he fled the scene. Shortly after the stabbings, police arrested Sela near the moshav.

Ravit Karsenty, Dor’s mother, said the day after the murders that she was certain Sela had planned them. “He was taking leave of people,” she said. “On Friday night he sat at my table and asked forgiveness from my son-in-law, Daniel, saying ‘I’m sorry if I offended you, I’m sorry if I gossiped,’ and so it was with other people in the community. He was saying goodbye to them.”

The mother added, “He simply waited until Eitan [Dor’s father] left the house and committed the massacre, a massacre that Eitan and I saw with our own eyes.”

The couple had married a few years ago and became religious together.