African teen who killed gay Swede and put snake on his neck will undergo psychiatric test

© Pichi Chuang
A 16-year-old boy charged with stabbing a gay man to death and putting a snake around his neck is being sent for psychiatric tests. A second teen was sentenced for charges linked to the murder, which Swedish police have called a hate crime.

A court in Gothenburg, Sweden, announced that hearings in the first boy's trial will be halted while experts carry out a full psychiatric examination, The Local reported.

The 16-year-old boy is charged with killing the man in an apartment the victim shared with his partner, leaving him with a snake around his neck. The victim was found murdered, bound and dressed in women's clothes in his apartment in the Bergsjön neighborhood of Gothenburg, Expressen reported.

Prosecutor Lotta Nielsen wrote that the victim was found with a shirt tied around his neck and wrists, a cord around his wrists and a blanket wrapped over his head and face.

Monday’s announcement came after police found a video from the boy's cell phone that shows him shouting and swearing at the 54-year-old victim and insulting his sexuality. It shows the teenage boy, along with an accomplice, putting the man's belongings in bags as he lay on the floor in his own apartment. The clip had been deleted from the phone, but was recovered by police.

"He has mistreated him and taken his life just because he was gay and dressed as a woman," Nielsen was quoted as saying by Swedish tabloid GT in December.

The teen claims he met the victim in a city park, where he offered him help with clothes and food. However, the boy claims he first thought the man was a woman as he was wearing a wig and women's clothing. He claims that when he arrived at the victim's apartment, the man took off his wig and tried to force him to have sex with him. The victim fell to the floor during the struggle, according to the boy’s account.

However, court documents show that the victim's partner did not believe the man was a transvestite.

"It is as if they dressed him up to mock him or something," the man’s partner said in a police interview.

The 16-year-old's blood and DNA were found on the snake. However, the teen denies murdering the man, and maintains that he was acting in self-defense.

“I am very afraid of snakes, how could I have put it there?” he asked during police questioning.

The teen, who is of North African origin, is thought to have been sleeping rough in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-biggest city, at the time of the attack last June.

The second defendant in the case, a 19-year-old youth from North Africa, has been sentenced to three months in a youth detention center for charges associated with the murder, including trespassing and violent behavior against a police officer. The teen, who admits to being in the apartment but says he was not an accomplice in the murder, was told he would be deported to his home country on completion of his sentence.