Two life sentences for man who murdered his own children

A man who murdered his children two years ago after they traveled from the United States to meet him has been handed two life sentences by an Israeli court in the central city of Lod.

Avi Levy was also ordered to pay half a million shekels (approx. $130,000) in damages to his ex-wife.

Levy was convicted of the murders two weeks ago, after the court dismissed his claims of innocence on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He claims he is not fit to stand trial due to mental illness – claims the prosecution debunked.

The court found he had planned to murder his two young children well in advance, in a twisted act of "revenge" against his ex-wife.

His ex-wife, who he met and lived with in the US, is an American citizen, and his children – Yishai, 12 and Sarah, 10 – were both dual American-Israeli citizens.

Levy's defense had claimed his wife repeatedly denied him access to his children, triggering a deep depression. However, he refused repeated attempts by investigators to get him to see a psychiatrist.

The court heard how he had bought a knife and plastic restraints days in advance of his gruesome killings. When his children arrived in Israel, he spent a day out with them, and then persuaded them to close their eyes before tying them up and slitting their throats.

That same day, still covered in blood, Levy walked into a police station and handed himself in, telling officers "I killed my children."


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