A remote employee admitted he brawled a colleague to death after suspecting he worked for the national security agency.
Troy Adam Hausler confessed to prematurely killing fly-in fly-out coworker Tobias Richterat in November 2019 at Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora mine, 120km south of Port Hedland.
WA Supreme Court heard the 32-year-old defendant experienced a psychotic episode after believing Richterat actually works for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Hausler claimed he wrestled the 40-year-old victim to protect his children from ASIO. When Richterat fell to the ground and did not stand up, the defendant checked for a pulse.
After realising the victim was dead, Hausler allegedly wrapped the lifeless body in tarpaulin sheet, and asked other workers to help load what he called “rubbish” into a vehicle but they refused.
A medical examination later found Richterat did not die from wrestling injuries rather an underlying heart condition according to News Limited.
Prosecutors eventually accepted Hausler’s plea for a lesser manslaughter charge due to a lack of evidence that confirms intention to kill.
Supreme Court Justice Joseph McGrath sentenced the defendant to seven years and three months in prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving at least five years and three months.
Richterat’s surviving family members still feel “blindsided” and “devastated”.
“My family is broken, absolutely broken,” sister Vanessa said according to the media outlet.
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