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Russian 'Cannibal' Delivers Defense In Verse, Gets 19-Year Sentence For Gruesome Killing

A Russian man on trial on suspicion of murdering a woman and eating parts of her body surprised the court by delivering his final statement in verse.

Dmitry Luchin's poetic protestation of innocence on November 20 did not sway the judge, who said the defendant had told investigators earlier that he killed the woman, drank her blood from a goblet, and ate parts of her brain and other organs.

Luchin was convicted of murdering the victim and desecrating her body, and was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Russia's Criminal Code has no article referring specifically to cannibalism.

Video footage from the trial in the northwestern city of Novgorod showed Luchin, 22, making his final statement from behind bars in the courtroom.

In it, he said in rhyming verse that he is not "a maniac, a murderer, a cannibal" but rather an innocent "student, athlete, and poet."

Investigators say Luchin and his 45-year-old victim were drinking alcohol in the city of Valdai on March 8 -- a state holiday in Russia marking International Women's Day -- when they began to argue and he stabbed her to death.

Last month, a woman in Russia's southern city of Krasnodar went on trial in a gruesome case that has led to suspicions of cannibalism because investigators say they found pickled body parts in the home she shares with her husband.

With reporting by Novgorod TV and Veliky Novgorod
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