HALLE, Germany — A court convicted three neo-Nazis of beating an African immigrant to death and handed down tough prison sentences Wednesday in an attempt to signal that a "long chain of attacks" on foreigners in Germany must stop.
The state court sentenced Enrico Hilprecht, 24, to the maximum of life in prison. His two 16-year-old co-defendants were each given sentences of nine years--one year less than the maximum allowed for juveniles.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called the decision "a suitable verdict for a heinous crime."
The case offered a glimpse into Germany's violent skinhead scene: Fueled by beer and illegal racist rock music, it directs rage at foreigners and often revolves around the decaying communist-era housing developments that dot the country's east.
It was in a park in the eastern city of Dessau that the three men brutally beat and kicked 39-year-old Alberto Adriano in the head June 11. Adriano died three days later, leaving behind a wife and three children.