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US murder suspect refuses to testify in Czech court

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Brno, May 31 (CTK) – U.S. citizen Kevin Dahlgren, who has been charged with a quadruple murder of his relatives in the Czech Republic, refused to testify in the Regional Court in Brno that heard several witnesses on Tuesday.

The closely watched trial will continue on Wednesday when court experts are to testify and on Thursday.

Dahlgren is charged with having killed his cousin, her husband and their two sons, one of them underage, with knives and an axe, in their house in Brno, where he worked as an English teacher, in May 2013. The motive of the murders is unknown.

Dahlgren pleaded not guilty in the past. He said then he found his relatives dead, got scared and ran away.

One of the witnesses was a girl-friend of the murdered older son. She said she spent the night to the day of the murder in the house. She met Dahlgren there, but did not notice anything unusual, she added.

A neighbour and a family friend of the victims also testified in court. She as well as other witnesses said they never heard the victims complaining about Dahlgren’s behaviour.

She and the other neighbours entered the house later in the afternoon and found the dead bodies and a mess there.

Another neighbour mentioned an unspecified noise she heard from the house around noon and an explosion, roughly at 14:00. Then she found a cellar window broken, she added.

The court also heard a teacher who helped Dahlgren find work, a woman who was cleaning the house and a classmate of the murdered younger son.

The teacher said he received confused text-messages from Dahlgren on the day of the murder and the cleaning lady testified that Dahlgren did not let her in to clean the house, though she agreed on it with the family, on the same day.

Dahlgren refused to give a testimony on Tuesday.

His public defender Richard Spisak said yesterday’s testimonies were as expected. “My client’s guilt cannot be deducted from any of them,” he said.

Spisak did not rule out that Dahlgren might testify in the future.

After the murder, Dahlgren, aged over 20 then, took a taxi to Vienna, from where he left for the United States. The Czech authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, based on which he was detained by FBI on his arrival in Washington.

Dahlgren was in custody in the United States from May 2013. The Czech authorities were negotiating about his extradition that was approved last August.

This has been the first case of the USA extraditing its citizen to the Czech Republic.

Dahlgren, who has been in pre-trial custody in Brno since last summer, faces 15-20 years in prison or even life imprisonment if convicted.

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