Suspect accused of intentional homicide, theft, fraud and drug offences
A man accused of murdering a British woman for her money said he accidentally killed her while choking her during sex, a court has heard.
Anna Reed, 22, who comes from a family of multi-millionaire racehorse breeders and trainers in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was found dead by paramedics in a hotel room in Switzerland in April 2019.
Marc Schätzle, a 32-year-old German-born former bouncer, is accused of intentional homicide, theft, fraud and drug offences.
The trial in the Swiss town Lugano was told that Mr Schätzle had run up debts of more than £40,000 through drink, drugs and designer clothes. He allegedly knew that Ms Reed had “more than £25,000” in her account.
Months after her death, her credit card was found hidden behind a panel in the lift of the luxury La Palma Au Lac hotel in the municipality of Muralto, on Lake Maggiore, where she was killed.
Just two months before her death, the pair met in Thailand while on an around-the-world trip during her post-university gap year.
They then travelled together to Vietnam, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates and posted photos of themselves staying at hotels on her social media accounts.
The court heard that Ms Reed had spent around £3,000 a month during her travels, but that the number allegedly “jumped considerably” after she met Mr Schätzle. But it is also alleged that Mr Schätzle travelled using the proceeds from an insurance scam.
The Swiss court heard from hotel guests that, on the night she was killed, they had heard screaming and shouting coming from room 501.
One said: “I heard breaking glass and furniture being pushed noisily around the room.
“There was crying. A voice said, ‘You are killing me’ or ‘You are kidding me’. I wanted to go and say something but thought it was too dangerous.”
After the alleged argument, Mr Schätzle went down to the lobby to say that Ms Reed was unwell, it is claimed.
A hotel source told The Times: “The receptionist could tell by his tone that it was serious so called an ambulance.
“The medics went straight up to the room. She was on the floor of the bathroom. They tried to resuscitate her but there was no response. She was already dead.”
A post-mortem revealed she had suffocated, and that she sustained cuts and bruises.
Mr Schätzle, a father-of-two, denies intentionally killing Ms Reed, and claimed that she died during sexual asphyxiation.
He told the court: “I put a towel around her neck and started kissing her. But she wanted more so I put my hand on the towel and pushed.”
The trial continues.