man sentenced to 12 years in prison for murdering his abusive stepfather

man sentenced to 12 years in prison for murdering his abusive stepfather
man sentenced to 12 years in prison for murdering his abusive stepfather

The Assize Court of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence on Wednesday, May 15, sentenced a 28-year-old from Quinson to 12 years in prison for the premeditated murder of his “tyrannical” father-in-law, Fabrice P., 54, in December 2020.

“I will carry this horrible act on my conscience all my life. I apologize for it. I ask your forgiveness”: these are the emotional words of Jérémy B., 28, addressed to the mother and sister of the man he was calling dad before killing him with three bullets in a field near Quinson (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence), on December 21, 2020.

It was he who alerted the police to the discovery of the body, after picking up the shell casings from his hunting rifle at the crime scene. He was arrested six months after the events. On Wednesday May 15, he was sentenced by the Assize Court to 12 years in prison for the murder of his father-in-law.

“The defense is satisfied with this verdict to the extent that it is a balanced verdict which took into account the circumstances of this tragedy,” reacted Maître Frédéric Monnoret, lawyer at the Marseille bar, to BFM DICI.

“Going crazy”

The young man, aged 24 at the time of the events, used to hunt with his father-in-law and had asked him to join him, before changing his small game cartridges for big game cartridges and fell about fifteen meters away, depending on the expertise.

“You were waiting for your prey to execute him,” noted the attorney general, who had requested 18 years in prison, while the accused mentioned an argument with his father-in-law which ultimately made him “break down.”

The exact circumstances of the crimes still remain unclear, the accused’s version does not match the medical findings, but the accusation of ambush was not upheld.

Domestic and intra-family violence

The accused and his family, who remained by his side, were unable to hold back their sobs at the mention of the painful family context of this “ordinary boy” with a “battered background”.

“Pain sufferer”, “under the influence”, “harassed”: at the bar, the terms followed one another to describe the authoritarian and violent daily life in which Jérémy Bourges grew up, punctuated by the domestic, physical and psychological violence imposed by his father, Fabrice P., a man who “wanted to control everything”.

“Everyone knew about this violence,” reports a witness. The neighbors heard the screams and saw the blows in this family home, described as a “golden cage”, and had also seen Jérémy B. at the age of 11 sleeping for weeks outside in a truck.

“He had the right to live”

Jérémy B. had become the co-manager of his father-in-law’s company, but again, he was constantly belittled, humiliated and denigrated. Violent arguments were common and the accused had previously mentioned wanting to “kill him”. However, he denies having acted for revenge.

“Yes, Fabrice P. was an unbearable, harsh and tyrannical man, but he remained a man nonetheless,” concluded the civil party. “He had the right to live.”

“The accused admitted the facts and apologized. I want to remember that. I want to have a message of hope and love for this family which has already been far too broken,” reacted Master Louis-Marie La Balle, lawyer for the civil party at the Toulon bar, at the end of the trial.

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