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Germany: Defendant admits slapping female student, says he regrets her death

  • Defendant Sanel M. (no family name given according with German privacy law) covers his face as he arrives in the courtroom for the start of his trial in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday April 24, 2015. The 18-years-old man is accused of punching student Tugce Albayrak in November 2014 in front of a fast food shop in Offenbach near Frankfurt. The student died a few days later. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Pool Photo via AP)

    Defendant Sanel M. (no family name given according with German privacy law) covers his face as he arrives in the courtroom for the start of his trial in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday April 24, 2015. The 18-years-old man is accused of punching student Tugce Albayrak in November 2014 in front of a fast food shop in Offenbach near Frankfurt. The student died a few days later. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ali Albayrak, left, father of killed student Tugce, and her mother wait for the beginning of the trial against an 18-years-old man in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday April 24, 2015. He is accused of punching student Tugce Albayrak in November 2014 in front of a fast food shop in Offenbach near Frankfurt. The student died a few days later. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Pool Photo via AP)

    Ali Albayrak, left, father of killed student Tugce, and her mother wait for the beginning of the trial against an 18-years-old man in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday April 24, 2015. He is accused of punching student Tugce Albayrak in November 2014 in front of a fast food shop in Offenbach near Frankfurt. The student died a few days later. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2014 file photo candles are lit next to a photograph of Tugce, in front of the hospital in Offenbach, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Thousands paid tribute to the student who was beaten to death after she tried to help two other girls outside a fast food branch. The trial against the man who had beaten her started Friday, April 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)

    FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2014 file photo candles are lit next to a photograph of Tugce, in front of the hospital in Offenbach, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Thousands paid tribute to the student who was beaten to death after she tried to help two other girls outside a fast food branch. The trial against the man who had beaten her started Friday, April 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)  (The Associated Press)

An 18-year-old man on trial over the death of German-Turkish student Tugce Albayrak says he regrets his actions.

The defendant, identified only as Sanel M., told a regional court in Darmstadt on Friday that he slapped Albayrak in the face before she fell to the ground.

The 23-year-old died two weeks after the Nov. 15 altercation at a fast food restaurant in the city of Offenbach, prompting outrage in Germany and Turkey. Witnesses said Albayrak had earlier helped two young women who were being harassed by the defendant and another man.

M. is on trial before a juvenile court charged with bodily harm resulting in death.

German news agency dpa quoted him as saying: "I'm eternally sorry for what I have done." He said he never expected Albayrak's death.