Merksplas stabbing suspect to remain in custody for another month

The man arrested after last weekend’s hostage taking incident in which a 19-year-old man was killed, and a 22-year-old woman seriously injured is to remain in custody for another month. The decision to keep the suspect behind bars for the next four weeks was taken at a remand hearing in Turnhout (Antwerp Province) on Friday morning. 

Last Saturday the 44-year-old man from Merksplas allegedly broke into his former partners home armed with a machete. The woman’s 19-year-old son was killed and her 22-year-old daughter suffered serious stab wounds. The woman’s new partner was able to escape unharmed. The woman was then held hostage in the attic of he home for around 6 hours before the hostage-taker gave himself up to police. 

He has since been questioned and formally charged. He appeared before a remand hearing on Friday morning where it was decided that he should remain in custody for further month. The man has been charged with murder, attempted murder and false imprisonment. 

Prior to last Saturday violent incidents, the man had been free on conditional bail after previous incidents of violence against his former partner. He had been issued with a restraining order and as such was not permitted to approach the woman. He will appear before magistrates again at the start of next month.


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