On Monday January 13, 2020, the police alarm went off when 42-year-old Jan Austin Ask Helby and 29-year-old Selge were found dead in a river in Gelfgellet outside Bergen.
Both are found wrapped in tarpaulins, which can be seen in an area popular for hiking.
That evening, the police arrested and detained two men. In the following days, three more men were arrested for their handling of the killings.
These are the perpetrators
The month-long trial begins Monday after what is gradually becoming known as the Bergen Elder Murder.
– This is very dangerous. The two were brutally murdered, and were later taken away from the scene and loosened in the river. This made the forensic examinations difficult, and the fact that they tried to hide the evidence is aggravating, Attorney General Benedict Hordens told TV2.
These are the accused:
- A man (58) – accused of murder and assault. He pleaded guilty to both counts of murder. He was previously convicted 24 times.
- A man (34) – accused of murder. He denies the criminal charge. Work as a night watchman in the nursing home.
- A man (24) – accused of complicity in premeditated murder. He denies the criminal charge.
- Man (35) – accused of removing evidence, bodily harm and theft. He pleads guilty to criminal charges after the indictment.
- Man (38) – accused of removing evidence. He pleads guilty to criminal charges after the indictment.
Note: All ages after today’s date.
I was subjected to violence hours before the murder
The actual killings took place on the night of Sunday January 12, 2020 between 03.00 and 08.00, but the first clash between the two parties actually took place on Saturday night that same weekend.
According to the indictment, the two men, aged 58 and 35, entered the nursing home in Møllendalsveien around Kuala Lumpur. 22.00, and they broke into Hellby’s room.
There they subjected him to physical violence, pushing, kicking and beating him together.
The perpetrators then leave the scene, but the 58-year-old returns the same night.
CCTV turned off
That night a 24-year-old is with him, and together they get help from a 34-year-old night watchman in the hospice.
According to the police, the latter turns off the surveillance cameras, picks up an ax and several knives, and opens the door to room 305 where Helby and Selji are.
The next thing to happen is that the last two were brutally murdered, with several stab wounds to the body and an ax blow to the head. According to the indictment, the 24-year-old keeps a guard outside the door, while the 58-year-old and the 34-year-old night watchman commit the murders inside the room.
State attorney general Hordens says she doesn’t want to say anything about the motive behind the murder, but there will be more clarity on this during the trial.
– We know there was a struggle, but this is more complicated than that. She says this is something we should take during interrogations.
– Is it that everyone involved knows each other?
– This happened in a shelter, which is a drug environment, Hordnes says.
He has been convicted 24 times
In the aftermath of the murder, the 58-year-old pleaded guilty. According to his defender Einar Rhein, he is willing to make up.
My client takes the issue very seriously, and at the same time is very clear that he wants to take responsibility for the actions he took, says Ryan.
The 58-year-old has been in custody since his arrest in January 2020. The man is, to put it mildly, an acquaintance of the police, having previously been convicted a full 24 times.
Now he is in danger of arrest, but the 58-year-old suspect believes he is being too strict.
He wants to make up for it, and he knows it includes a longer prison sentence that he’s willing to put up with. Ryan says my client nevertheless has a clear view that detention should not be necessary in this case.
He denies the criminal charge
The other two who were, according to the police, on the night of the murder, deny involvement in the killing.
The 24-year-old, who is said to have been kept watching outside the door, does not plead criminal guilt for complicity in the murder.
– My client thought it was a surprise to be tried for this. His defender John Anders Hussle says he’s dealing with the matter really hard and has trouble putting it on hold.
– What is his opinion of the fact that the intense trial will begin next Monday?
– He is ready for what is to come, to the extent that he can prepare for something like this, but he is ready to tell his version. Hussle says he’s also prepared for the fact that there may be many statements he doesn’t agree with.
TV2 was unsuccessful in obtaining a comment from attorney Eric Olfswater, who is defending the 34-year-old night watchman.
The next day after the murder, two young men, aged 35 and 38, arrived in Room 305 of the hospice. They wash and clean the room, wrap the victims in tarpaulins and make it easier for them to get out in the car.
The 35-year-old also stole jewelry, a mobile phone, a computer, watches and rings from Hilby’s room.
The two deceased Jan Austen and Selge are then led to Osavatnet by a gulfite outside Bergen, and thrown into a river.
On the following Monday, January 13, the deceased was found, and in the same week all five were arrested.
There has been a very large investigation, and a great deal of work has been done in order to collect digital artifacts and information. What we now have left is the key that the defendants can answer in court. We’re now focusing on their explanations, says Attorney General Hurdens.
– We’re so sorry
Both people who led the deceased to Gilfjelleh and threw them into the river were accused of removing evidence.
Both the 35-year-old and the 38-year-old have pleaded guilty to this matter, and will explain themselves in court.
– This is something he deeply regrets doing. My client believed that at the time he had poor impulse control, and did not think about the consequences of what he had done, says the 38-year-old’s defender, Kjetil Ottesen.
The 35-year-old’s defender, Eric Miguel, says his client fears prosecution.
– He’s hesitant, as others probably do. Mjell says he of course takes responsibility for what he did.
Unbelievably heavy for the family
When the trial begins in Hordaland County Court on Monday, August 30, the families of the deceased Jan Austin Ask Helby and Seljee will pursue the case.
Associate attorney Cecily Walfick says the whole case has been incredibly difficult and heavy for Helby’s relatives.
– The family expects the trial to be very stressful and demanding, but at the same time it is important for the family to get an answer to what happened, she said.
– One of the main defendants pleaded guilty and confessed. What do relatives think about it?
The family wants those who have committed misdeeds to take responsibility for their actions, says Walvic.
Associate attorney Ivar Plekera represents the Selce family. He says her parents have been afraid of the case for a long time.
For them, the past 1.5 years have been marked by difficult emotions such as sadness, loss, and anger. They hope the case will give them answers to many of the questions they have, even though Selji’s brutal murder would be incomprehensible to them anyway. Selji was a caring mother, daughter, and sister that the family sorely misses, says Blickra on behalf of the family.
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