The murder trial for fatal shots at two young police officers during a night traffic check in the Palatinate began on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in Kaiserslautern. A 39-year-old defendant has to answer before the district court. He is said to have killed a 24-year-old police officer and her 29-year-old colleague with multiple gunshots in late January to cover up poaching.

In the process, the 39-year-old blamed his alleged accomplices for the death of one of the victims. His client heard shots during the incident at the end of January and was “perplexed,” said the man’s defense attorney on Tuesday in a statement at the start of the trial in the Kaiserslautern district court.

His client also shot afterwards – but “only to ensure that he was no longer shot at,” said the defense attorney and described a kind of self-defense situation. The 39-year-old saw muzzle flashes in the confusing night-time situation and fired in this direction.

After the incident at Kusel, he wanted to turn himself in to the authorities in Saarland, but he wanted to speak to his wife beforehand – so a special task force (SEK) got ahead of him and arrested him.

The 33-year-old accomplice’s defense attorney dismissed the account as inaccurate and “predictable”. It was as his client described during the interrogation. After about an hour, the court adjourned the trial to Monday.

14 dates are planned for the trial until September 9th, several experts and a large number of witnesses have been invited. The public prosecutor assumes that the accused was on the night of the crime with a 33-year-old accomplice for hunting poaching near Kusel in the western Palatinate.

The police officers, who were patrolling in an unmarked vehicle, found the van parked on the side of a county road suspicious and got out to check it. Surprisingly, according to the prosecution, the 39-year-old fired a shot from a shotgun “from a short distance in the head” of the police candidate. The woman fell into the street with serious injuries. According to this, the accused is said to have shot the police commissioner first with a shotgun and then with a hunting rifle, fatally hitting him in the head.

When the 39-year-old German noticed that the policewoman was still alive, he fired another shot at the woman’s head with the shotgun, it said. According to the judiciary, the two suspects fled and were arrested a few hours later in nearby Saarland.