Heidemarie Schnitzer, the mentally unbalanced Austrian woman who stalked and threatened to murder David Caruso, Greta Caruso and Liza Marquez was found guilty earlier today by an Austrian court. Schnitzer was sentenced to seven months in prison followed by additional time to be served in a mental facility. After serving out her jail sentence, Schnitzer will be relocated to a mental institution for abnormal criminals. Judge Boehler added the psychotheraphy time to Schnitzer's sentence out of fear Schnitzer would commit further crimes. Schnitzer's attorney, Andreas Grabenweger, plans to appeal the verdict. Above photos courtesy of Tirol's online service and TT.com.
During the trial, Dr. Karin Treichl testified that Schnitzer suffered from "strong narcissistic and anti-social characteristics" as evidenced by Schnitzer's trivializing her acts and incidents of the past. Treichl stated that Schnitzer used her surroundings to manipulate people and maintain a parasitic lifestyle after she fled to Mexico. Treichl went on to testify that fears remain high Schnitzer could commit serious offenses if released.
Prosecutor Karin Schiffmann successfully argued that Schnitzer felt "entitled" to attention after sending 120 letters to David Caruso and fleeing to Mexico to be near the actor without being within direct reach of American authorities. Judge Boehler stated during the proceedings that David Caruso had felt "fear" upon learning he was being stalked. Presenting evidence of fear on the part of the victim is a necessary element of proof of stalking.
For the time being, Schnitzer is in prison where she belongs. For an English translation of today's proceedings, please see The Austrian Times. For those desiring more information on Austrian legal procedure see this excellent link.