updated 11/20/2006 4:56:42 AM ET 2006-11-20T09:56:42

A German nurse was convicted Monday of killing 28 elderly patients at his hospital with injections and sentenced to life in prison.

A state court in the southern town of Kempten convicted the 28-year-old man, who said he gave the elderly patients the lethal injections because he felt sorry for them, of 12 counts of murder, 15 counts of manslaughter and one of mercy killing.

The man, who was also convicted of a separate count of attempted manslaughter, admitted at the start of the trial in February that he had given patients in the Sonthof hospital’s internal diseases ward a lethal mixture of drugs that he stole from hospital supplies.

But he denied charges that he had acted with malice.

He said it started in January 2003. He was arrested in the summer of 2004. Two victims survived. He was asked to explain 81 deaths that happened during his shifts in a hospital.

He said he killed patients because he was unable to bear seeing them “wasting away.” He stole quantities of a tranquilizer drug and a muscle relaxant which, when used in combination, cause death.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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