The Lod District Court on Wednesday sentenced Barak Ben-Ami to life in prison plus an additional 20 years for the murder of his infant daughter and attempted murders of his 3-year-old daughter and then-wife.
The panel of judges accepted the plea agreement reached in September in the case. As part of the plea deal, reportedly agreed to by Ben-Ami’s ex-wife, he fully confessed to his crimes and admitted responsibility.
Ben-Ami will also be required to pay $211,812 in damages to his ex-wife and daughter.
The severity of the sentence handed down by the judges means Ben-Ami, 35, will only be able to request early release after serving 55 years behind bars.
In March 2020, Ben-Ami, of Hod Hasharon, stabbed his baby daughter, Goni, to death and attempted to kill his then-wife Liron Dror and their other daughter and then take his own life. Dror and the 3-year-old were seriously wounded in the attack.
A month later, Ben-Ami was charged with one count of aggravated murder and two counts of attempted murder. “The defendant’s violent, aggressive and brutal acts, during which he did not hesitate before attacking and stabbing his daughters and wife many times, all over an inane argument, demonstrate his danger to public safety,” prosecutors wrote.
According to the indictment, Dror was sitting on the couch holding their youngest daughter when Ben-Ami punched her in the face, shoved her and began strangling her as she sought to fend him off. Immediately afterward, the defendant went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed her in the neck. She fell to the ground while the baby remained lying on the couch. Ben-Ami strangled and stabbed his wife repeatedly in the neck and chest, then stabbed his 10-month-old baby in the neck and chest, and went on to do the same to his 3-year-old daughter, according to the indictment.
At some point, Dror managed to get up and tried to run out of the apartment to call for help. But Ben-Ami caught her and stabbed her again. Nevertheless, she made it out to the yard and began shouting, the indictment said. The defendant followed her, grabbed her by the hair and stabbed her again in the stomach, causing her to fall to the ground. The suspect then tried to drag her by the leg back into the apartment, but gave up when people started to arrive on the scene, the indictment said.
Ben-Ami then returned to the apartment, where he choked his 3-year-old and made several superficial wounds to his own neck in an attempt to take his own life with another knife. The defendant finally ceased his rampage when other people arrived at the apartment. His infant daughter did not survive the attack.
In a statement to reporters after the plea deal was accepted by the judges on Wednesday, Ben-Ami’s ex-wife Liron Dror thanked the court “for giving us a few more years of quiet so that my daughter can reach adulthood where she too can defend herself when he comes looking for her on his furlough to complete his mission.”
“This man is a monster. I know in my bones that domestic abuse continues even when the criminal is behind bars. The state must fight these domestic terrorists. Help women and children, my surviving daughter, raise their heads above the water and live without fear of this monster and its metastases,” she added.