Three sentenced in ‘sports bag killing’

A husband and wife and one other man have been given jail sentences for Finland’s so-called ‘sports bag killing’.

Mikko Eschner, 37, was charged with manslaughter and given eleven-and-a-half years after a 25 year-old woman’s body was found dumped in a holdall bag in Jyväskylä in January.

Jari Porrassalmi, his accomplice, was given five years and six months for aggravated assault, battery and attempted manslaughter. Escher’s wife will also serve a four-month suspended sentence for neglect and involuntary manslaughter after she failed to act during the Lahti woman’s prolonged and brutal beating in an apartment in the Pupuhuhta district.

The court concluded that Porrassalmi, 20, had beaten the women in December 2010 and Eschner had finally killed her with drugs the following month. The younger man then packed the body with ice and left it in a hockey bag on the side of road where it was later found by a passer-by.

The killing was thought to be in revenge for the woman ratting out a member of a criminal gang to the police. Around 10 people are thought to have come to the house while the woman was dying, with three of those also found guilty for failing to get help.

Escher was on parole for a previous homicide when the killing took place, so will serve his full sentence, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The prosecution was pushing for murder convictions, however, and will appeal the verdict.