Man in Norway bow-and-arrow attack pleads guilty to murder

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A man charged with killing five people and wounding four others in southern Norway when he attacked strangers with a bow and arrows and knives pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and attempted murder.

“I admit criminal guilt for the entire charges,” the suspect, Espen Andersen Bråthen, 38, said as his trial started at Buskerud District Court, according to Norwegian news agency NTB.

The five victims were fatally stabbed on Oct. 13, 2021. Andersen Bråthen also faces 11 counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at people with a bow and arrows in Kongsberg, a former mining town of 26,000 people.

He further is accused of causing bodily harm, threatening behavior, refusing to obey police orders and tossing knives at officers.

The attacks started inside a grocery store. Andersen Bråthen was arrested more than half an hour after he allegedly started firing arrows inside the store and attacking people inside their homes.

He listened quietly as the charges were read out loud Wednesday. Although he has confessed, he may not end up in a Norwegian prison.

Prosecutors want him sentenced to compulsory mental health care, saying he was in a “strongly deviating state of mind” during last year’s attack, according to charging documents obtained by The Associated Press.

After his arrest, Andersen Bråthen was admitted to a closed psychiatric ward. Three forensic psychiatric experts who assessed him concluded he was probably insane at the time of the killings.

The trial is expected to last a month.

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