The Lod District Court sentenced a teenager to 23 years in prison on Monday for the premeditated murder of a convicted pedophile last year, when he was just 16.
The defendant, who is now 17 and as a minor still cannot be named by the media, was convicted in a plea bargain of stabbing to death Haim Vizman, 42, a resident of the coastal city of Netanya in 2021.
The defendant was convicted of aggravated murder, attempted arson and obstructing justice. The court said it was “an exceptional case in its severity and cruelty.”
Police obtained written remarks from the defendant’s computer in which he stated that he wanted to “murder a pedophile” and described killing Vizman as “my first truly moral act.”
The teen, described as a high-performing student, was also ordered to pay NIS 200,000 ($58,000) to Vizman’s brother, and was handed an additional 12-month suspended sentence.
According to the updated charge sheet, the defendant met Vizman at the victim’s home in August 2021 and pretended to be willing to have sex with him, with both of them removing their clothes.
The defendant then asked Vizman: “Are you ready for your surprise?” and instructed him to lie face down on the bed with his eyes closed, according to prosecutors.
The teenager then pulled out a knife and inflicted 30 stab wounds on Vizman, who struggled, attempted to defend himself and begged the defendant to stop. The suspect then took a shower to wash the blood off his body, then tried but failed to burn down the apartment. Shortly after leaving, he deleted the Instagram account through which he had been communicating with Vizman.
Vizman’s body was found by two teenage boys who entered the apartment around 3 a.m. the day after the murder. Magen David Adom paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The defendant, who has no criminal background, was arrested eight days after Vizman’s body was found. He was caught on security cameras arriving at the apartment and leaving half an hour later.
Although he initially denied any connection to the crime, he later claimed that he had acted in self-defense when Vizman tried to force him into sex, and that he had taken the knife from the kitchen. However, investigators provided evidence that the defendant bought the knife on the way to the apartment and attempted to burn the murder scene, pointing to a premeditated crime.
A search of the defendant’s family home uncovered further items tying him to act, including a description of the murder that he wrote on his computer the day after the killing.
“I’m still debating whether to do it again. Start a pattern, that way maybe I’ll get a little more attention from the public,” he wrote according to a police report. “I’ll make people afraid — and that’s it. Here it is. Written. Black on white. My first truly moral act.”
The crime was “the result of careful planning by the accused, who considered his actions a “moral act” and even expressed deliberations “about whether to repeat them,” the panel of three judges said in sentencing the defendant.
“There is a huge gap between his academic and social skills, and his excellence in every field, compared to the difficult, serious and cruel acts he committed,” they said.
Vizman was convicted in 2009 of indecent acts against two minors. After being released from prison, he was monitored for six years and did not violate the terms of his release, the Haaretz daily reported.