Seven Year Prison Sentence for Killing Brother Skip to content
Photo: Golli. Hólmsheiði Prison.

Seven Year Prison Sentence for Killing Brother

Valur Lýðsson was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing his brother, Ragnar Lýðsson, on the 31st of March, Vísir reports. Valur was found guilty of aggravated assault which led to Ragnar’s death, which included kicking or stamping his head and body.

Detectives gave testimony that blood splatter and injuries suggested that Ragnar had been hit repeatedly while he lay on the floor. Furthermore, Ragnar’s blood was found on Valur’s socks. Kolbrún Benediktsdóttir, who fought the case on behalf of the district attorney, requested that Ragnar receive a sixteen-year prison sentence during the main trial at the end of last August.

Valur’s story

The assault took place at Valur’s house, Gýgjarhóll II in Biskupstungur, on Good Friday. Ragnar and the third brother, Örn, had joined Valur at his home for the night. Valur described that Ragnar had arrived with two bottles of strong liquor. Valur claims he had not taken a sip of alcohol for three months due to his consumption leading to amnesia. He also added that he gets violent when under the influence. The threesome shared the bottles before and after a meal, before Örn headed to bed.

The conversation between Ragnar and Valur turned to future plans for the homestead, which had been owned by the family. Valur didn’t take too kindly to Ragnar’s suggestions, and Ragnar, in turn, didn’t like Valur’s reaction. Valur claims he has no recollection of the fight with his brother. According to Valur, his last memory from the night was his brother’s face. The next morning he woke up and noticed his brother’s body. He immediately called the police to notify them of the situation and stated that he believed he was the killer. He was arrested at the scene. Valur claims there was no ill between the brothers and he had no explanation for how his death happened.

The sentence

A psychiatrist adjudged Valur to be of sound mind and commented that Valur showed clear remorse during the interviews. He did, however, claim amnesia.

It was considered proven that Valur had repeatedly struck his brother with a fist to both head and body. The sentence mentioned that a medical examiner believes that Ragnar’s drunkenness played a part in his death. However, his ribs stung his liver, which would in all likelihood have led to this death on its own, given that he would not have been operated on soon after.

The sentence adjudged that Valur was aware of the fact that repeatedly striking him was dangerous. However, it’s not believed that Valur realized that his strikes, or kicks, would lead to Ragnar’s ribs stinging his liver, with life-threatening consequences. All doubt should be judged in favour of the defendant. Therefore, it was adjudged that it was not proven that the accused intended to kill his brother. For that reason, Valur was not sentenced for manslaughter but rather a dangerous and deliberate assault which led to his death.

The fallout

Ragnar’s four children will receive ISK 3 million ($ 27,000 / € 22,900) each as compensation for their father’s death. The sentence was passed yesterday in the District Court of South Iceland, the lowest of the three Icelandic court branches, the other two being the Supreme Court of Iceland and the Court of Appeal. At this point, neither the district attorney or Valur’s defendant have decided to appeal the case. Valur will remain in custody until the deadline for appeal passes.

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