Avoiding prison, man who shot dead car thief gets community service

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A man in the southern city of Arad was spared jail time on Tuesday for shooting and killing a man who tried to steal his car a year ago.

Aryeh Schiff, 71, was sentenced by Beersheba District Court to nine months of community service after being convicted of reckless homicide in July under a plea deal.

The court also sentenced Schiff to a nine-month suspended sentence and ordered him to pay compensation to the victim’s family totaling 10,000 shekels ($ 3,200).

According to the indictment, Mahmoud Al-Atrash, 36, broke into a vehicle parked near the trailer where Schiff was sleeping in order to steal him. Hearing the sounds of the break-in, Schiff got out of the trailer and shot the vehicle with Al-Atrash inside, prosecutors said.

Al-Atrash was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, where medical staff pronounced him dead.

Schiff told police he did not point his gun at the suspected burglar and did not want to harm him.

“I’m glad it’s over and I’m very sorry for the tragedy,” Schiff said after Tuesday’s hearing. “It wasn’t premeditated, I’m sorry.”

Revital Judge Yaffe Katz wrote in her ruling that although Schiff’s action “violates the sanctity of human life,” his case was unusual because he was “drawn into an event that he had neither initiated nor initiated. planned”.

“The accused stood alone, at a late hour, in front of the deceased and his partners – all masked – and their mere sight was enough to stir up terror and fear,” wrote the judge.

She said Schiff’s fear that thieves would harm him or his wife was justified. She said his actions were not aimed at harming Al-Atrash, noting that he immediately called the police and medical services.

The judge also called Schiff “a man of values ​​who for many years contributed to the country in almost every way and lost his son”.

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