A Jerusalem couple were indicted Thursday for murdering their neighbor, dismembering his body and burying the parts in a communal garden.
According to the indictment, Andrei Wolchanski and Claire Kroveli of the capital’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood had been in a long-running dispute with 59-year-old Shlomo Sami Marciano. The latter had filed a lawsuit against the defendants in April over illegal construction.
Wolchanski was charged with murder, destroying evidence and obstructing justice, while the indictment accused Kroveli of assisting after the fact, destroying evidence and obstructing justice.
Attorney Galit Shoham, who filed the indictment at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, requested that the couple be held in custody for the remainder of the proceedings against them.
During a May 10 argument between Wolchanski and Marciano in the lobby of their apartment building, Wolchanski grabbed an ax and hacked the victim to death, the charges said.
Wolchanski then dragged the victim’s body into his apartment and began cutting it up further. Shortly thereafter, Kroveli arrived at the scene. The couple decided that they would bury the corpse in a nearby community garden.
They spent the day in their living room, cutting up Marciano and putting the body parts in black garbage bags, the charges said.
The pair then spent the next three days digging holes in the garden deep enough to hide the limbs, the largest of which were rolled to the burial site in a cart.
The defendants further covered up the crime by painting over the blood spots on the lobby walls as well as scattering the murder tools in garbage cans throughout the neighborhood, the indictment said.
While disposing of the victim’s body parts early in the morning of May 11, the pair was spotted by two youths who reported the suspicious activity to police.
A few hours later, a friend of Marciano’s arrived at the Oz police station in Armon Hanatziv and told police that after being unable to reach Marciano for a few days, he went to his home and found the door open.
After connecting the two reports, police arrived at Marciano’s home to collect evidence, which eventually led them to the couple. They were arrested on May 14.
Searches of their home and the surrounding area revealed the ax and some of the tools used in the murder. In addition, police uncovered the body parts that the couple buried, said police spokesperson Luba Samri in a May 16 statement.
Lawyers said both had a history of mental illness.