Europe

'Ice cream' murder woman gets life sentence in Austria

Estibaliz Carranza. Photo: 22 November 2012
Image caption The trial of Estibaliz Carranza attracted a huge media interest in Austria

A court in Vienna has sentenced to life in prison a woman for murdering her ex-husband and her lover and hiding the bodies in her ice cream shop.

Estibaliz Carranza, who has joint Spanish-Mexican citizenship, will now be put in a secure mental institution.

The 34-year-old shot dead her ex-husband in 2008, and killed her lover while he slept two years later.

She cut up the bodies with a chainsaw and buried them in concrete in the shop's basement in Austria's capital.

Personality disorder

Delivering the verdict on Thursday, chief prosecutor Petra Freh described the murders as "horrific".

She said Carranza was a "highly dangerous woman ready to do anything".

In her final statement, Carranza said: "I can't say anything other than that I am sorry."

The remains of her ex-husband Holger Holz and lover Manfred Hinterberger were found during routine maintenance works in the shop last year.

Carranza then fled the country to neighbouring Italy in a taxi, but was captured and extradited several days later.

During the trial, Carranza pleaded guilty to all the charges.

The defence argued that she had been tyrannised by the two men and this should be taken into account.

A court psychiatrist determined that Carranza suffered from a personality disorder as well as serious mental abnormalities.

The trial attracted a huge media interest in Austria, with the accused being dubbed in the press "the Ice Killer".