A man who murdered his baby daughter and attempted to kill his wife and his toddler will serve a life sentence as well as additional 20 years in prison as part of a plea agreement reached on Sunday at the Lod District Court.
In March 2020, Barak Ben-Ami, 35, of Hod Hasharon, stabbed his baby daughter, Goni, to death and attempted to kill his wife and their other daughter and then take his own life. His wife and toddler were seriously wounded in the attack.
In April 2020, Ben-Ami was charged with one count of aggravated murder and two counts of attempted murder. “The defendant’s violent, aggressive and brutal acts, during which he did not hesitate before attacking and stabbing his daughters and wife many times, all over an inane argument, demonstrate his danger to public safety,” prosecutors wrote.
As part of the plea deal, reportedly agreed to by Ben-Ami’s ex-wife, he fully confessed to his crimes and admitted responsibility.
Liron Dror, Ben-Ami’s ex-wife, told reporters ahead of the court decision that she was waiting for justice.
“We have waited for this day for a year and a half,” she said. “The morning of the murder we could not cry out, but this is the moment where we are crying out for help and asking for a harsh punishment for our murderer, who has not taken responsibility for his actions. This is not a father, this is a monster. I hope he will remain in jail for the rest of his life so that we will not need to live under a cloud of fear.”
According to prosecutors, Dror was sitting on the couch holding their youngest daughter when Ben-Ami punched her in the face, shoved her and began strangling her as she sought to fend him off. Immediately afterward, the defendant went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed her in the neck. She fell to the ground while the baby remained lying on the couch. Ben-Ami strangled and stabbed his wife repeatedly in the neck and chest, then stabbed his 10-month-old baby in the neck and chest, and went on to do the same to his 3-year-old daughter, according to the indictment.
At some point, Dror managed to get up and tried to run out of the apartment to call for help. But Ben-Ami caught her and stabbed her again. Nevertheless, she made it out to the yard and began shouting, the indictment said. The defendant followed her, grabbed her by the hair and stabbed her again in the stomach, causing her to fall to the ground. The suspect then tried to drag her by the leg back into the apartment, but gave up when people started to arrive on the scene, the indictment said.
Ben-Ami then returned to the apartment, where he choked his 3-year-old and made several superficial wounds to his own neck in an attempt to take his own life with another knife. The defendant finally ceased his rampage when other people arrived at the apartment. His infant daughter did not survive the attack.
A police representative told the court last month that Ben-Ami had confessed to the crime shortly after his arrest, admitting it had been due to an argument with his wife.
“I grabbed a knife and wanted to kill everyone,” he said, according to police. “I went crazy, I lost my mind.”
Ben-Ami had initially refused legal counsel before the investigation and told police that he was mentally disturbed. But the prosecution revealed during the hearing that the psychiatrist who examined Ben-Ami found him fit to stand trial.