Göta Court of Appeal will deliver its verdict in the Tove case on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Two young women were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Tove, 21, in the district court. However, when the appellate court’s verdict is announced on Wednesday, the outcome could be completely different.
This is what has happened so far in the high-profile case.
October 16: Shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday, 21-year-old Tove is on the phone with her boyfriend. She had been at the bar Nöjet in Vetlanda with her friends. A dispute had occurred between her and an acquaintance during the evening, but on the phone, Tove sounds happy and tells her boyfriend that they are on their way to the acquaintance’s place to resolve the conflict. This is the last time her boyfriend hears her voice. When Tove does not come home, she is reported missing. The police establish a special regional situation, missing persons are involved, and hundreds of volunteers join the search. Tove’s disappearance becomes national news.
October 17: Two women, aged 19 and 20, are arrested on suspicion of abduction. Both, but particularly the older one, are acquaintances of Tove, but their relationship has been marred by conflicts for some time. Tove followed them home to have a conversation after the altercation at Nöjet.
November 2: Tove’s body is found in a wooded area southeast of Vetlanda.
March 17: The 19 and 20-year-old are charged with murder and desecration of a corpse. According to the indictment, they killed Tove by strangling her while she was lying on the floor. They then transported her body to the wooded area where they attempted to burn it.
March 27: The trial begins in Eksjö District Court. The case has received significant attention, and curious people start queuing outside the court in the early hours to secure a seat.
The women admit to moving the body but deny the murder charges. The 20-year-old admits that there was an altercation in the apartment and that she held Tove in a chokehold while the 19-year-old held Tove’s hands. However, she claims it was brief and that Tove did not die from it. The younger woman denies any involvement. She claims to have been sleeping when Tove died and that she was too scared to say no when the older woman asked her to help move the body.
April 19: Both women are sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and desecration of a corpse. They are the first women under the age of 21 to receive the harshest punishment under Swedish law.
Eksjö District Court considers the 19-year-old’s claim about sleeping as a post-event construction. The court concludes that the 20-year-old intended to kill Tove because of the prolonged chokehold, while the 19-year-old had ”knowledge intent.”
”With regard to the period during which this occurred, we believe that she must have realized and become aware that this would lead to death,” said the presiding judge Erik Handmark during the verdict announcement.
October 4: The case is retried in the Court of Appeal. Four new forensic experts give their opinions on how exactly Tove died, and in several cases, they reach completely different conclusions. However, prosecutor Thobias Vilhelmsson argues that it is clear that Tove was murdered and requests that the district court’s verdict be upheld. He does, however, suggest that the younger woman could be sentenced to a milder punishment. The defense lawyers argue for their clients’ acquittal.
October 12: The Court of Appeal decides to release the 19-year-old woman from custody. Sven-Erik Alhem, chairman of Victim Support Sweden and former prosecutor, interprets the decision as an indication that the 19-year-old will be acquitted of murder. The older woman remains in custody until the verdict is announced.
October 25: Göta Court of Appeal delivers its verdict.