Prosecutors: Italian Black Metal Band 'Caused Four Deaths'

Australia's is reporting that prosecutors called on an Italian court today to impose heavy jail sentences on two members of a "black metal" band accused of murdering three people and inciting a fourth to suicide in a case that has shocked Italy.

The court was asked to impose sentences of 20 years and 16 years respectively for Andrea Volpe and Pietro Guerrieri, who are accused of being the leaders of BEASTS OF SATAN, obsessed by Satanic rites.

Lawyers for Volpe and Guerrieri have opted for an accelerated trial procedure, which under Italian law leads to reduced sentencing. They are due to be sentenced tonight or tomorrow.

Five other members of the group would be sentenced on the same charges on June 21, the court said. The eighth member of the group on trial faces a lesser charge of associating with criminals.

The preliminary judge Maria Greca Zoncu rejected a defense request that an exorcist be called in to treat their clients, on the grounds that "demonic possession is not covered by our penal code".

Two teenage members of the BEASTS OF SATAN, Chiara Marino and Fabio Tollis, were found in a pit in woods northwest of Milan last year after going missing in 1998. They had been beaten and stabbed, prosecutors said.

"It's like my son has died all over again," Tollis' mother, Ellena, told reporters at the courtroom, according to Reuters.

Tollis was killed with a hammer blow to the head when he tried — and failed — to stop the murder of his girlfriend, Chiara Marino.

"They're killers, not beasts. To call them beasts is offensive to animals," said Chiara's mother, Lina Marino. "They should never be freed."

The petite 19-year-old was stabbed to death under a full moon by band members who apparently believed she was a personification of the Virgin Mary. She had decorated her bedroom with black candles and goat skulls.

The third victim, Mariangela Pezzotta, 27, was Volpe's former girlfriend. Investigators believe she may have been murdered after finding out about the other killings.

Prosecutors believe a fourth victim was pushed into taking a drug overdose, from which he died.


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