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German on trial for killing 5, injuring 18 in car rampage

August 19, 2021 GMT
A court official checks the handcuffs of the defendant in a courtroom in Trier, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. A 51-year-old man has gone on trial in Germany over a deadly vehicle rampage in the western city of Trier last year. (Harald Tittel/dpa via AP)
A court official checks the handcuffs of the defendant in a courtroom in Trier, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. A 51-year-old man has gone on trial in Germany over a deadly vehicle rampage in the western city of Trier last year. (Harald Tittel/dpa via AP)
A court official checks the handcuffs of the defendant in a courtroom in Trier, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. A 51-year-old man has gone on trial in Germany over a deadly vehicle rampage in the western city of Trier last year. (Harald Tittel/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — A 51-year-old man has gone on trial in Germany for a vehicle rampage that killed five people in the western city of Trier last year.

The defendant, a local resident identified only as Bernd W. due to German privacy laws, was indicted on five counts of murder and 18 counts of attempted murder for intentionally driving at pedestrians in a busy shopping area.

Investigators said he drank alcoholic beverages before the attack.

The people killed were a 45-year-old father and his 9-week-old child, and three women ages 25, 52 and 73. Prosecutor Eric Samel said the defendant intended to kill as many people as possible, German news agency dpa reported Thursday.

Dpa said that the defendant declined to testify at the start of the trial in the Trier regional court.

A verdict is expected next year.