Dutch man sentenced to 6 years in prison for killing Minnesota woman in Netherlands

A 24-year-old Dutch man has been sentenced to six years in prison for fatally stabbing a Minnesota woman who was studying in the Netherlands. The ruling comes nearly one year after the deadly attack.

Wednesday, a judge sentenced the man, identified as Joel, to six years in prison for manslaughter in the death of 21-year-old Sarah Papenheim, according to the Court of Rotterdam. After completing his prison sentence, Joel will be detained in a psychiatric unit until he is deemed fit for society. A judge will evaluate his treatment every two years and will ultimately be the one to determine whether Joel may be released.

Papenheim, 21, of Andover, Minnesota was studying psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

According to the Court of Rotterdam, on December 12, 2018, Joel’s mother contacted authorities after speaking with him on the phone. She had learned he got into an argument with his roommate, Papenheim, and stabbed her. Officers responded and found Papenheim deceased in the home.

Joel testified he does not remember all of the details of the incident. However, he did remember being upset with Papenheim, holding a knife, as well as seeing her lying in blood in her room.

“Considering the severity and unpredictability of the crime, as well as the serious psychological disorders of the suspect, the court deems recidivism of a violent crime very likely,” read a release from the court of Rotterdam. “The suspect suffers from chronic disorders that require prolonged treatment and guidance in a clinical setting.”

Papenheim's family members were also in attendance at the hearing and spoke of their grief.

Remembered for her drumming talents, last year the Minnesota music community mourned her loss by holding a tribute concert in her honor.