Sabrina Lekaj's dad admits to stabbing her 8 times over her drug use and partying ways in chilling confession
The man carried a 15-cm knife when he drove his daughter to get dinner, the court was told
A convicted heroin trafficker, who thought his glamorous daughter was "throwing her life away" by taking drugs, stabbed her eight times in a fit of rage.
Petrit Lekaj, a property developer, and his daughter Sabrina, 20, were on their way to Hungry Jack's in Adelaide in July last year when he stabbed her to death, ABC News reports.
Sabrina was found dead in her white Mercedez Benz sedan nearby her family's residence in Kidman Park. In August 2019, Lekaj pleaded guilty to murder at the South Australian Supreme Court. He is scheduled for sentencing next week.
According to a report by The Advertiser, Lekaj's lawyer said at a hearing on Wednesday that the father could not explain his actions.
A well-known member of Adelaide's Albanian community, Lekaj carried a 15-cm knife when he drove his daughter to get dinner, the court heard.
At some point during their trip, they stopped the vehicle — which was a birthday present from Lekaj to his daughter. Lekaj then confronted Sabrina about her party lifestyle and recreational drug use, telling her she was "throwing her life away." However, she allegedly responded saying that she "didn't care."
The judge was told how Lekaj subsequently brandished the knife to "scare" his daughter. However, the altercation escalated before he pulled the weapon from his trousers and stabbed her in the stomach while she was looking out of the window.
When Sabrina began screaming for help, Lekaj reportedly jumped into the back seat, strangled his daughter, and proceeded to stab her seven more times in a fit of rage.
"I just kept stabbing ... she was kicking, kicking the door and the window. And then I go to the back of the car ... and did the rest."
Authorities found Lekaj next to his daughter with a serious stomach wound. He was rushed to be treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
"He told police he believed that his daughter was throwing her life away and the accused responded to that by violently taking her life from her," Prosecutor Melissa Wilkinson told the sentencing submissions hearing.
Ben Sale, the defense lawyer representing Lekaj, pointed out to the judge to take into account how he instantly admitted he had killed the "apple of his eye."
An antecedents report detailing Lekaj's criminal history was tendered by prosectors and released to The Advertiser by Justice Trish Kelly in December.
Lekaj's drug-related offenses fo back to August 1996, as per the outlet. At the time, he was thrown behind bars for his role in the sale of a controlled substance. District court records also show he was found guilty of selling heroin the previous year. Following that conviction, the 49-year-old spent two years in jail. However, his original minimum non-parole period of two-and-a-half years was cut by six months.
According to the antecedents report, Lekaj was convicted and fined $200 for cannabis possession in 2007. The same year, he was slapped with a $100 penalty to store ammunition in a locked container.
In September 2009, Lekaj was fined $900 after authorities found he had cultivated more than a prescribed number of cannabis plants and was in possession of drugs equipment.
That said, Sabrina was remembered as a bright student who had graduated high school with a stunning score of 99.35.
"I can't believe I'm writing this. My beautiful Sabrina," one friend wrote after her death. "Incredibly talented pianist, high achiever, and queen of dark humor. I love you. Forever in our hearts."
In 2016, Sabrina graduated from the Nazareth Catholic College in Adelaide with a leading score in biology and religious studies. She was subsequently accepted into the University of South Australia, where she studied medical imaging as well as classical piano.