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Bride who shot husband 'thought it was a blank'

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17:43 CEST+02:00

A newlywed Swiss woman from Basel who killed her husband in a tragic gun accident in March has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter but will not serve a prison sentence.

32-year old “Nadia N“ was handed a nine-month suspended sentence by Basel Criminal Court on Wednesday, Blick newspaper reported. 

The woman cried as she told the court the accident happened while playing with her husband Victor’s gun at their home in the Gundeli area, south of Basel city centre, on Sunday March 20th. She explained she did not know it was loaded.

Although they first met in 1996, the home care assistant and her musician husband did not marry until the beginning of March 2011.

The tragedy occurred in their house two weeks later while their 13-year old son was staying with a friend.

Her husband was always handling his gun, the woman told the court. Even on the day before the deadly shot was fired, he polished his weapon while sitting in front of the TV and smoking a joint.

Nadia N. told her husband she wanted to fetch the family register from the safe. Victor’s gun, a Glock 17-caliber 9x19mm automatic, was also locked up there.

“As I opened the safe, he called saying he wanted the gun,“ she said. “I wanted to pretend I wasn’t afraid.“

Play-acting, she told the court she held the gun to her 35-year old husband’s temple. “Hands up“, she joked.

Her husband, not believing the gun to be loaded, urged her to pull the trigger. When she eventually did, the gun went off and her husband slumped to the floor. She called an ambulance but he was dead before it arrived.

She was held in police custody for two nights but investigators soon came to conclusion that her husband may have loaded the gun with a real bullet rather than a blank while under the influence of marijuana.

The judge found Nadia N. guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but reasoned that "the consequences of what happened are so heavy that an exemption of punishment is justified.“

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