Three people tried for torture and murder of a 40-year-old

They are accused of the murder, accompanied by acts of torture and barbarism, of a forties in 2019: two men and a woman appear from Monday before the Assize Court in Angoulême.

Gérald Matifas, originally from Deux-Sèvres, had been beaten up, extorted, mutilated and killed in the cellar of an apartment in Cognac (Charente). His body was then burned and abandoned in a forest in Courcerac (Charente-Maritime).

The defendants, Cathy Bichon, 41, David Klein, 38 and Philippe Laroche, 30, wanted revenge for an attempted sexual assault. A man and his companion, 43 and 34, are also being prosecuted for non-denunciation of a crime. The first would also have stolen a car used to transport the body.

A woman met on Facebook

The drama begins on April 5, 2019 when Gérald Matifas goes to Cognac to stay with Cathy Bichon, met on Facebook. Three days later, he spent the evening with her, as well as with David Klein, her ex-companion, Philippe Laroche, one of their acquaintances, and two other people.

It was at the end of this evening that the victim would have tried to have a relationship with Cathy Bichon. She refuses, he does not insist and falls asleep next to her. The next day, the latter confides in Philippe Laroche and David Klein.

The two men then decide to avenge her. The same evening, Gérald Matifas was beaten up on the banks of the Charente, in Cognac, then brought back to Cathy Bichon’s apartment where the trio continued to drink. The man is tied up in the cellar. He is then slashed with a knife, beaten and left for the rest of the night.

Alcoholic evening

The next day, after another alcoholic evening, the victim suffered several rapes with various objects and then mutilation of the genitals. According to David Klein and Cathy Bichon, Philippe Laroche will stab him in the heart, fatal.

Four days later, the body of Gérald Matifas is transported at night, using a stolen car, to Courcerac. He is burned there, the knives used to torture him are buried.

Placed in police custody at the end of April 2019, the three main defendants have since been imprisoned. Victim of rape and domestic violence in the past, Cathy Bichon is “now accused of a crime that is beyond her, even if she has a share of responsibility and guilt that she does not dispute”, explains her lawyer Me Lionel Bethune of More.

The debates will last until October 18.

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