Trial in Yverdon: “I never wanted to kill my brother”

Trial in Yverdon: “I never wanted to kill my brother”
Trial in Yverdon: “I never wanted to kill my brother”

“I never wanted to kill my brother. I was brainwashed. It’s because the devil got into my head.” It is with these words that Lucas*, 22, explained on Wednesday to the Court of Yverdon-les-Bains (VD) the circumstances which led him to commit the irreparable during confinement. One day in April 2020, this young man, suffering from childhood autism, took his younger brother, who suffered from the same disorder, to a forest in the canton. He then used an ax and rubbing alcohol, before lighting a lighter.

In this murder trial, the parties and experts are unanimous: the act of someone who is described as respectful of the rules, conciliatory and non-violent, is inseparable from the context in which it occurred. Me Gilles Monnier, lawyer for his parents, speaks of “double confinement: that of autism and that of confinement”. A period during which Lucas was deprived of his landscaping classes, his contacts with the outside world, his grandparents and his leisure activities, of everything he calls his crutches. “Such a loss of bearings is a cataclysm for those who live from well-established things. He was weakened, overwhelmed, disoriented.”

Passionate about superheroes, the young man then occupied his days playing video games and watching a Marvel series, going so far as to “reproduce almost identically” a fictional scene. “Due to his mental disorder, he was influenced in the manner of committing his act. There was mimicry,” reports his lawyer, Me Aude Vouillamoz.

“He did not have the resources to release his tensions and was unable to verbalize them. He ended up choosing the worst solution,” added prosecutor Laurence Brenlla. Considering the defendant’s greatly diminished responsibility at the time of the facts, she required 6 years in prison and institutional care in a closed environment which, as experts recommend, will offer Lucas a secure environment.

“I lost my two children”

“It’s a double tragedy for me. I lost both my children in one fell swoop. I expect human justice, both for my youngest son and for my eldest, confided the mother. I expect justice that takes into account the serious consequences of the disability and the circumstances which largely contributed to the tragedy that occurred.” For his part, the father, who recalls that the couple lived with two autistic children for almost twenty years, deplores “the lack of structures and supports offered by institutions”. He wants “justice to take into account the human factors and the distress” in which his son found himself.

“His work is bearing fruit”

“At the time of the events, the expertise concluded that Lucas had not understood the seriousness of his actions,” reports his lawyer. The experts judged that the accused regretted them terribly, however within the limits of his introspection capacities, which were considered weak. The accused has already spent four years in prison, in a psychiatric unit. Me Aude Vouillamoz welcomes her progress. “He is now able to put his emotions into words. He also has a better ability to adapt. His work is bearing fruit. It’s promising,” noted Me Aude Vouillamoz.

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