By John O'Donnell
Tue May 9, 12:10 PM ET
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A German cannibal whose killing and eating of a willing victim shocked the nation received a life sentence for murder Tuesday after a court overturned a previous manslaughter conviction.
In delivering the decision, Judge Klaus Drescher threw out the defense team's argument that Armin Meiwes had acted on his victim's request, a crime similar to euthanasia which in Germany carries a maximum prison term of five years.
"The defendant was fully conscious of his actions and could control them," Drescher told the court.
"This is not killing on request," he said. "He killed him because he wanted to slaughter and eat his flesh. He had achieved the biggest kick of his life."
Meiwes, 44, was standing trial for the second time after Germany's top criminal court ruled his 2004 conviction for manslaughter and eight-year jail sentence was too lenient.
Under German law Meiwes could be released after 15 years. The court rejected a request by prosecutors to deny his right to be released early, saying his victim had volunteered to be killed and eaten.
Meiwes corresponded with 400 people over the Internet in his search for a willing victim before stumbling upon Bernd-Juergen Brandes, a high-ranking IT manager with German firm Siemens.
In a tale that has horrified the country and inspired a feature film, Brandes traveled by train to meet Meiwes, where the cannibal videotaped himself severing Brandes' penis with a knife before both men tried to eat it.
Bleeding profusely, Brandes fell unconscious. With the video recorder still rolling, Meiwes laid him out on a bench, kissing him on the lips before plunging a knife into his throat.
"The next one must be young but not so fat," Drescher quoted Meiwes as saying after the slaughter was complete and his victim was suspended from a meat hook.
Meiwes later froze 30 kg (66 lb) of flesh in parcels labeled schnitzel among other things, said the judge. He later ate the flesh with red cabbage and potatoes.
The judge described Meiwes as psychologically sick but fully aware of his actions.
Digitally Implanted by Mme.BlueWolfess at 2:22 PM