Estonian court sentences killer of trans woman to 12 years in prison

  • 2023-07-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Tallinn-based Harju County Court on Friday sentenced Kirill Lukin to 12 years in prison for the murder of a trans woman in Tallinn's Old Town last summer.

The court included pre-trial detention in the sentence and July 10 of last year, when Lukin was arrested as suspect in a crime, is considered to be the beginning of the sentence. The court ordered Lukin to pay 1,955 euros in favor of the victim. In addition, Lukin has to pay the state 8,653 euros for procedural expenses.

On the night of July 8 of last year, Kirill Lukin and his friend Sergei Leontjev went to the Lost Home bar, where they met Sabrina. Early in the morning of July 9, at 7:30 am, the group relocated to a rented apartment on the Town Hall Square, where Sabrina was staying.

According to the prosecutor, Lukin and Sabrina wanted to have intercourse. At one point, a conflict arose, which resulted in Lukin punching Sabrina in the face and then punching her in the head and body area -- more than 30 times in total, according to the investigation.

According to the charges, Lukin assaulted the victim with intent to cause death. He struck the victim repeatedly and forcefully with both his fists and long-edged knives. Lukin stabbed the victim until she no longer showed signs of life. He then washed his hands and left the scene.

According to the court, Lukin's claims that the victim had prevented him from leaving the apartment and had tried to sexually harass Lukin are not consistent with other evidence.

"The evidence shows that Lukin unexpectedly discovered the actual sex of his partner during an intimate moment. It was an unpleasant discovery for him, he went into a rage and started hitting the victim with his fists and knives," the court said.

According to Senior Prosecutor Kelly Kruusimagi, in the prosecution's opinion, both the scene of the crime and the defendant's leaving the scene, washing his hands, and the desire to return to the scene to destroy traces of the crime show his conscious action and the hope that the crime and its perpetrator will remain undetected.

"The court agreed with the charges presented by the prosecution and the prosecutor's office likely does not intend to challenge the ruling," Kruusimagi said.

"The Penal Code protects human life, and according to the prosecutor's office, there were no circumstances justifying killing in this criminal case. Every human life is valuable, every killing is a tragedy, and every premature loss is difficult for the relatives of the victim. Law enforcement agencies cannot bring back human life, but we do stand to ensure that the perpetrator of an act receives an appropriate punishment. In this way, it is possible to contribute to the restoration of peace of mind for next of kin," the senior prosecutor added.

The ruling has not yet entered into force, it can be challenged in the circuit court within 30 days.

Regarding the second man, who was accused of not reporting the crime, the court decided to conclude proceedings on April 25 at the request of the prosecutor, because his guilt was not great and there was no public interest in continuing the criminal proceedings against him.