Back in October 2020 in the city of Daegu, a Korean man in his late 50s was arrested for murdering a neighbor in his early 50s.

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Picture is for illustrative purposes only. | KMIB

According to the man’s statement from the police investigation, the neighbor had been “unacceptably rude” to the man — constantly cursing at him, asking him for money, and “ding-dong ditching” his apartment unit. Hence, the two had not been on good terms for a period of time leading up to the murder.

Picture is for illustrative purposes only. | Yonhap News

The investigation also revealed that on the day of the murder, the man and the neighbor had gotten into another fight. Reportedly, the neighbor had paid the man another visit, cursing and getting rowdy. The man, who had become completely deranged by the argument, then punched and stabbed the neighbor multiple times — killing him on the spot. Following the murder, the investigation claimed, the man had mutilated the neighbor’s corpse as well.

In fact, the “mutilation” became extremely cannibalistic — the report described. The man is said to have claimed that he “felt like the dead neighbor’s eyes were looking at [him],” so he “removed the eyeballs and consumed them.

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Picture is for illustrative purposes only. | Yonhap News

When the case was handed over to the Daegu District Court, the prosecutors pushed for a life sentence, considering the sheer brutality of the act. The first trial, held March 19 of 2021, however, reached the verdict of 12 years in prison for the murder and mutilation.

The court claimed, “The sentence has been reduced because the victim also harassed the defendant both physically and mentally and provided motivation for the murder.” In addition, the court also sentenced the man to receive psychological treatment, “taking into consideration that the man showed symptoms of schizophrenia.

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Daegu District Court | Kyunghyang

When the court’s decision from the first trial became disclosed, the Korean public grew furious at the ruling. They argued 12 years after murdering, as well as mutilating and consuming the corpse, is “ridiculously short to say the least.” One Korean insisted, “While it is true that schizophrenia is a legitimate condition and potentially the cause behind the murder, it most certainly cannot be the reason for the reduction of the murderer’s sentence.

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As the Korean judicial system is based on the three instance trial system, the verdict has a chance to be overturned. The public, however, remains skeptical that the defendant’s sentence will be increased beyond the 12 years in either the second or the third trial.