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Published: Tuesday, 9/11/2007

Tecumseh man confesses to killing Dutch student with ax, lawyer says


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands A Tecumseh, Mich., man, seeking to punish the Netherlands for its support of the war in Iraq, has confessed to axing a 22-year-old Dutch student to death after failing to find a soldier to kill, his lawyer said today.

Carlos Hartmann, 41, confessed to the killing on a train platform Saturday in the southern city of Roosendaal, lawyer Peter Gremmen said.

Hartmann appeared before a judge today and was ordered held for another two weeks for investigation.

He hates soldiers, and says that the army kills people, so it would be legitimate if he were also to kill someone ... from the American military or from its NATO allies, Gremmen said in a telephone interview.

When Hartmann failed to find a soldier at the Roosendaal train station, he got such a crazy, disturbed idea that he killed a civilian, Gremmen said.

Hartmann did not attempt to escape the scene and was arrested shortly after the killing.

Dutch prosecutors confirmed a suspect had confessed but did not identify him or the victim, in keeping with Dutch practice.

Under the Dutch legal system, Hartmann was not required to enter a plea today.

Prosecution spokeswoman Martine Pilaar said her office was taken aback by Gremmen s willingness to reveal details of his case. But Gremmen said he was only confirming details published by the local newspaper BN/De Stem. The paper s source was not named, and police declined to comment.

Gremmen said Hartmann has lived in the Netherlands since 2002 and that he had no fixed address. He said Hartmann had agreed to undergo psychological testing, and was now terribly sorry for his deed.

The victim, identified as Thijs Geers, was waiting for a train and had no connection with the suspect or the military. Online condolence registers in the Netherlands were flooded with messages of sympathy for him and his family.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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