Manfred von Karma is one who believes only perfection in all things can be tolerated. He is arrogant and intimidating in everything he does, even to the point of being able to keep the Judge
on a tight leash. He sees defense attorneys as nothing more than bugs to be crushed, to the point that he does not remember the name of the attorney he faced the previous day. He also makes predictions on how long the trial will last before he gets his guilty verdict, and pressures everyone in the courtroom in order to end the trial at his predicted time.
Manfred von Karma's career lasted over 40 years, with a perfect win record. However, there is information on only two of his trials:
Fifteen years before the events of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
, von Karma faced the father of Miles Edgeworth
, Gregory, in a trial. While von Karma eventually won the guilty verdict, Edgeworth was able to point out a flaw in his case that resulted in von Karma being given a penalty. After the trial, there was an earthquake that trapped Miles, Gregory, and a court bailiff named Yanni Yogi inside an elevator. Due to oxygen deprivation, Yogi started to fight with Gregory. Trying to stop the fight, Miles saw the bailiff's gun on the floor and threw it at them. The gun went off, and the bullet went out the elevator, into the shoulder of Manfred von Karma, who happened to be standing outside the elevator at the time. Seeing his chance to get revenge for the penalty earlier that day, he went into the elevator, and shot Gregory Edgeworth with the bailiff's gun. Miles, however, had passed out, and eventually came to think that the shot that had hit von Karma had really killed his father. To avoid a paper trail, von Karma did not have the bullet in his shoulder removed.
In their investigation, the police did not know about von Karma's presence, so they tried using a spirit medium, Misty Fey, to channel the spirit of Gregory Edgeworth. Thinking that his son had accidentally killed him, he tried to protect him by incriminating Yanni Yogi for his murder. Yogi was soon put on trial, but was declared innocent by reason of insanity thanks to his defense attorney Robert Hammond, with the argument that the oxygen deprivation had temporarily made him go insane and shoot Gregory. While he was declared innocent, his reputation was ruined, his job was lost, and his fiancée committed suicide.
Soon after this, von Karma took Miles Edgeworth under his wing and trained him in his methods of prosecution, even taking him back to Germany to live with him.
State v. Edgeworth ("Turnabout Goodbyes")
Shortly before the beginning of this case, Manfred von Karma sought to complete his plan of silencing everyone involved in his shooting. With the statute of limitations on the murder of Gregory Edgeworth fast approaching, von Karma tried to find Yanni Yogi, who now ran a boat rental shop at Gourd Lake and pretended to be a doddering old man as an alibi. He anonymously sent Yogi instructions on how to get revenge on those who ruined his life fifteen years ago. He was to call Robert Hammond and Miles Edgeworth to the lake (posing as the other in his letters to them), calling Hammond to the lake earlier than Edgeworth. When Hammond arrived, Yogi killed him and them put on Hammond's clothing to pose as him when he met with Edgeworth. Later, he fired two shots at Edgeworth while on a boat in the middle of the lake, both intentionally missing, then jumped into the lake to give the appearance that Edgeworth had killed Robert Hammond for letting his father's murderer get away, and left the gun he used in the boat. Edgeworth was later arrested.
The prosecutor of this case was Manfred von Karma, who now sought to put Edgeworth in prison to finish his plan. However, this was made difficult by Edgeworth's defense attorney, Phoenix Wright
. To avoid being linked to the case by any evidence from the DL-6 case, he raided the Records Room and removed all of the evidence, even using a stun gun on Wright and Maya Fey
when they tried to stop him. However, Fey was able to save one important piece of evidence: the bullet found in Gregory Edgeworth's heart. Wright was eventually able to link this bullet to the one in von Karma's shoulder, which was found with a metal detector.
Manfred Von Karma was found guilty of murdering Gregory Edgeworth and Robert Hammond. With a shout and a session of hitting his head against a wall, he left the court room forever, cursing the Edgeworths.
- von Karma has two daughters; Franziska, and an unnamed elder daughter who is married with a child.
- His granddaughter has a dog named "Phoenix."
- Miles Edgeworth's original character design became the basis of von Karma's character design.