A drunken fight between two brothers in northern Jutland left the elder brother dead and the younger one facing seven years behind bars.
Local newspaper NordJyske reported that the 55-year-old younger brother was acquitted of manslaughter but found guilty of violence causing death for a fight that occurred in November of last year.
In the incident, both men had been drinking when a fight broke out. Prosecutors said that the younger man killed his 57-year-old brother by strangling him by hand and shoving potatoes down his throat. The younger brother also reportedly punched the elder repeatedly in the head and neck.
The 55-year-old called after an ambulance to say that his brother was lying unconscious in their shared house and rescue personnel arrived to find the elder dead with a potato lodged in his windpipe. The younger brother was arrested shortly thereafter.
On Wednesday, the Hjørring District Court was split on the defendant’s actions. Three jury members and the three judges felt that there was enough evidence to convict the man on manslaughter charges while three other jury members thought that the man had not intended to kill his brother. They pointed to the fact that he had attempted to fish the potatoes out of his older brother’s throat before calling for an ambulance.
With the jury in disagreement, the man was convicted on the lesser charge of violence causing death.
The defendant contended in court that his brother had either gotten two potatoes stuck in his throat by accident or had attempted to kill himself as a result of the fight. The court did not believe either explanation.