Teenager who killed mugger to protect girlfriend from rape faces life imprisonment with premeditated murder indictment

Photo: Klaus Hausmann/Pixabay
Photo: Klaus Hausmann/Pixabay

A 17-year-old high school student, identified by his initials ZA, may face life in prison for the murder of an alleged mugger last year, which he argued was done out of self-defense and to protect his girlfriend from sexual assault.

The incident occurred last September in Malang regency, East Java. On the evening of Sept. 8, ZA was on a date with his girlfriend when four men approached them and demanded that they hand over some of their belongings. ZA initially complied, but when two of the men made sexual advances on his girlfriend, he took out a knife — which he said he had on him for an unspecified school project — and stabbed one of the men, who was identified as 35-year-old Misnan. 

Misnan passed away from his injuries the next day, leading to ZA’s arrest for manslaughter, which, under the Criminal Code, is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Last week, however, during ZA’s trial at the Kepanjen District Court in Malang regency, the teenager was indicted with violation of Article 340 on premeditated murder under the Criminal Code, the maximum punishment of which is life imprisonment.

“Article 340 [for this case] is odd. Where is the premeditation? We regret the indictment,” ZA’s lawyer, Lukman Hakim, said in reaction to the indictment, as quoted by Kompas.

State prosecutors assigned to the case, who indicted ZA, have yet to publicly comment on this latest update to the case.

This is not the only recent criminal case involving what appear to be men driven to murder to protect their loved ones and then being charged or indicted with premeditated murder. In November, a man named Nanang Budianto from Probolinggo, East Java stabbed his close friend to death for attempting to rape his wife. Despite the spontaneous nature of the crime, Nanang was charged with premeditated murder and may face life in prison. His wife, who said she was saddened and confused by the charge, nevertheless said that she loves Nanang “even more” for his sacrifice.

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