“Parents for life” or the true story of the parents of Matthieu, the murderer of Agnès, 13 years old

“Parents for life” or the true story of the parents of Matthieu, the murderer of Agnès, 13 years old
“Parents for life” or the true story of the parents of Matthieu, the murderer of Agnès, 13 years old

“We are the parents of a killer and a rapist. We are full of shame, sorrow and guilt. However, we still love our son, we remain his parents. For life. » So begins Parents in perpetuity, the book written in 2016 by Sophie and Dominique Moulinas. Four years earlier, Matthieu, the eldest of their three children, raped Agnès Marin, tied her to a tree before stabbing her around twenty times then burning her body. She was 13, he was 17. The only thing they had in common was that they were boarders in the same school, in Chambon-sur-Lignon, in Haute-Loire.

This Wednesday evening, France 2 is broadcasting a film inspired by this book. In the fiction, which bears the same name as the book, we follow the parents of Guillaume, 17, as they move into a world they never imagined they would encounter. The names have been changed, the places and dates too, but not the subject. Can filial love waver when faced with the worst? Can you love your children while being repelled by their actions? How to face the unthinkable? “They never let go of their son. From the first day, they were there for him and still are, in fact,” insists Me Joëlle Diez, who was Matthieu’s lawyer. Almost fifteen years after this affair, this experienced lawyer says she is still very marked, both professionally and humanly, by this case which she describes as “extraordinary”.

A first warning crime

The plot of the film begins in the corridors of the gendarmerie: Guillaume has just been arrested for a rape committed against a childhood friend. A first crime which will be quickly followed by a second, even more tragic. A timeline consistent with reality. The crime of which Agnès Marin was the victim echoes a first case, committed sixteen months earlier. On August 1, 2010, Matthieu lured a former school friend to an isolated place before raping her at knifepoint. A few hours after his arrest, the teenager confessed. “We didn’t understand much,” his father confided in 2016 on France Inter. But, at the same time, we were in no condition to understand anything. You know, the expression “mass blow”: we were destroyed by that. Destroyed and alone. It was so excruciating. »

The expert who examines Matthieu dismisses the risk of reoffending, judging the teenager’s remorse to be sincere. He does not notice any particular danger. After four months in pre-trial detention, the young man is placed under judicial supervision. On the condition that he leaves his original department and attends a boarding school. His parents moved heaven and earth to find him a place to stay. This is how he arrived, after 16 refusals, at the Cévenol high school in Chambon-sur-Lignon. The same one where young Agnès, four years his junior, goes to school.

A few months later, on November 16, 2011, he lured her into the forest adjoining the establishment under the pretext of going to pick mushrooms before raping and murdering her. “It’s as if it was you who committed this crime,” his mother confided in a documentary published in 2016. “It’s not you, but it’s you. It’s your blood, your flesh, the values ​​that you transmitted to him, it’s your codes. »

Life imprisonment

The psychiatrists who subsequently examined him revealed a schizoid profile and significant danger. “Matthieu did not want to leave prison, he had no desire to return to a normal life, he knew he was dangerous”, recalls his former lawyer who however regrets that “neither his age nor his mental pathology” were taken into account by the court.

At first instance and on appeal, Matthieu was sentenced to life imprisonment, the court rejecting the “minority excuse”. Before him, only Patrick Dils had suffered such a fate before being exonerated. Since no one. And for good reason: the law was changed to comply with the requirements of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. From now on, the maximum sentence incurred by a minor is thirty years. Despite the advice of their lawyer, Matthieu and his parents refuse to appeal to the Court of Cassation. “They were exhausted,” she remembers. Now aged 30, Matthieu is still in detention.

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