The prosecution had sought a life sentence for Daniel H., an unemployed cook, who was convicted on Wednesday of murdering the 16-year-old au pair under particularly brutal circumstances almost three years ago.
With its shocking details – the unemployed chef bludgeoned Lucie to death with a barbell and slit her throat after having sex with her – the grisly case has captured national attention.
Nicole and Roland Trezzini, the slain girl’s parents, hoped that the unemployed 28-year-old would end his days behind bars. But it was not to be.
The court's judges ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove that Daniel H. could not be rehabilitated, despite the evidence of psychiatric specialists who cast doubt on this possibility.
One of the experts testified that Daniel H. had the potential to become a serial killer.
“I think that the court did not have the courage to order the maximum sentence,” Nicole Trezzini told the press afterward.
She and her husband vowed to “continue to fight for Lucie”.
Defence lawyer Matthias Fricker, who earlier stated that his client had a real chance to become a “better man”, said the sentence was fair.
But prosecutor Dominik Aufdenblatten said he is considering an appeal of the verdict.
A life sentence is the most severe allowed under the Swiss penal system.
Daniel H. has a previous record for assaulting a woman by attempting to strangle her.
The prosecution stated that he had approached around 110 girls before persuading Trezzini to accompany him to his apartment in Rieden (Aargau) on March 4th 2009.
He lured the girl by promising her 500 francs ($546) for jewellery photos.
The prosecutor Aufdenblatten called the murder “cold-blooded, senseless, ruthless and of incredible brutality”.