After 11 days of debate behind closed doors before the Assize Court in Mont-de-Marsan the verdict is in: a young man and a 19-year-old woman were sentenced to 17 and 11 years in prison on Thursday for murder and complicity. The body of a high school student was found buried in a field in 2020 in the Landes. The Advocate General had requested 21 years of criminal imprisonment against the duo, asking the jurors to dismiss the “minority excuse” which could reduce their sentence. But the court took into account their age at the material time – 16 – when setting their sentences.
On February 1, 2020, in Yzosse, a town near Dax, the two defendants had agreed to meet the victim in an isolated place, making him believe that only the teenager would show up there.
Third teenager sentenced for failing to prevent a crime
It was actually her boyfriend who showed up at the meeting, with gloves and a stick, to “give a good beating” to the victim, against a backdrop of love rivalry. During the proceedings, the accused admitted having “squeezed the neck” of the victim and “hit his head on the ground”, before burying his body in a field, a few meters away.
The girl’s lawyer pleaded for the acquittal of his client, the co-defendant’s counsel claiming to reclassify the facts as “blows resulting in death without intention to give it”. My Frédéric Dutin and Nathalie Clément, for the civil parties, took note of a “decision which does not satisfy anyone” according to them. The parties have ten days to appeal.
A third teenager tried for the related offense of failing to prevent a crime was given a two-year suspended prison sentence.