The woman seriously injured her spine in a car accident: she was staying in bed paralyzed suffering from permanent pain
Preliminary hearings on the murder of a 32-year-old paralyzed woman took place in the city of Rostov on November 12th. The woman was suffering from horrible pains in the spine, which she had injured in a car accident. Natalia Barannikova asked everyone who knew her to help her leave this life. Only two teenage girls Marta (14) and Christina (16) agreed to fulfill the patient's request. The girls strangled the woman and took jewelry away from her apartment – the reward that the woman had promised for being killed.
A lot of people residing in the city of Volgodonsk, the Rostov region of Russia, knew about Natalia Barannikova's wish to die. The woman seriously injured her spine in a car accident: she was staying in bed paralyzed suffering from permanent pain.
”Witnesses said that the woman asked her friends and relatives to help her leave this life, but they did not treat her words seriously,” local law-enforcement officer Sergei Ushakov said. “Natalia Barannikova asked the 14-year-old girl Marta, who was her neighbor in the apartment block, to find a person, who would agree to kill her for five thousand rubles (a bit less than $200). None of Marta's friends agreed to fulfill such a request,” the officer said.
”My client says that Natalia Barannikova was begging to be relieved of the horrible pain. As a result, Marta decided to bring her friend, Christina, and fulfill the woman's wish,” Marta's lawyer Vladimir Revenko said. “The two girls decided to give the woman an injection of air at first – they thought that she would die if they injected some air in a vein. The injection did not kill Barannikova, of course, and she started commanding the girls' actions herself. Everything was happening when the woman was staying in her apartment alone – her husband and the little daughter were out. Natalia told the girls to take a shoelace, tie it around her neck and pull it. The girls did so, but it took them long to strangle the woman, they were crying with fear, but Barannikova finally stopped breathing. Marta and Christina took her gold jewelries and left. They said that Barannikova had offered them jewelry for their “services.” The same day the girls pawned the jewelries for about five thousand rubles,” the lawyer said.
According to the Russian law, 14-year-old individuals can be punished for murder. Marta has signed a statement not to leave the town, while Christina is currently being kept at a local detention center. The families of the two girls can not be classified as happy. Marta's mother has recently been released from jail after serving her sentence there for drug trafficking. Christina's parents always argue and do not pay any attention to the daughter.
Both Christina and Marta say that they have committed the crime over compassion. However, no one knows what really happened in Barannikova's apartment, and was there only compassion and sympathy that moved the girls to kill the 32-year-old woman.
”All hesitations are to be interpreted in the defendant's favor. However, we do not think that it goes about euthanasia here, a homicide committed because of compassion. There is no sympathy here at all. Most likely, the woman was murdered over certain selfish needs - it can be clearly seen from the actions of the defendants. They testified about it as if it was an interesting adventure. When they received money, they spent it on gum and Coca-Cola,” law-enforcement officer Sergei Ushakov said.
There is no law on euthanasia in Russia, but it is not ruled out that the court will take into consideration the fact that the girls committed the murder on the base of the victim's personal request.
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