Murdering art dealer thought victim ‘was an extraterrestrial’
The defendant, who was not named by the court but identified in the British press as 32-year-old Bennet von Vertes, said he was under the influence of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol at the time.
Von Vertes was also found guilty on a separate charge of raping a former girlfriend two months prior to the attack, the ATS news agency reports.
The court heard that victim Alex Morgan, 23, was visiting von Vertes at his family’s chalet in the Kuesnacht municipality on Lake Zurich in December 2014.
After a night out in Zurich, the pair were said to have returned to the villa in the early hours of the morning where they got into a fight. During the tussle, von Vertes stabbed his friend with a broken piece of glass before beating him to death with a candlestick holder.
Von Vertes admitted the murder but insisted that hallucinations, brought about by a cocktail of cocaine and ketamine, made him believe his friend was an alien who was trying to kill him.
The pair had met when they were both studying business administration at Regent’s College in London in 2011, according to The Times.
Handing down the sentence, the judge acknowledged that drugs had been a factor in the attack and gave von Vertes 12 and a half years in prison rather than the 16 the prosecution had sought.