Housemaid jailed for killing boss over will

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The judges in the Court of Appeal on Thursday. Photo: Torstein Bøe/NTB scanpix
17:36 CET+01:00
A Norwegian housemaid who was set to inherit a fortune from her millionaire employer has lost her appeal against her conviction for his murder.

Pål Stener Johannessen, 90, was found dead in his Oslo apartment in March last year. The maid had been set to inherit his entire 15 million krone fortune. However, before his death Johannessen had been planning to change his will and leave his money to another staff member, a 36-year-old home help.

In its judgement, the court said that the 62-year-old had left the apartment after caring for Johannessen, but had later returned. She locked herself in and suffocated him in his bed, probably using a pillow or some other kind of fabric.

An autopsy revealed injuries consistent with suffocation, but police said they were unable to say definitively how the victim had died. 

The 62-year-old maid had denied killing her boss and broke down in tears when the Court of Appeal in Oslo upheld her conviction. The jury took just two hours to convict the woman.

The home help has now been awarded the entire contents of the will.

The sentence of 13 years is a year longer than the standard 12-year sentence for murder. 

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