Accused of attacking a prostitute after a murder in June 2007, the suspect left prison in early April

Accused of attacking a prostitute after a murder in June 2007, the suspect left prison in early April
Accused of attacking a prostitute after a murder in June 2007, the suspect left prison in early April

the essential
Christophe, arrested Sunday in Toulouse after the savage attack on a prostitute, spent more than 17 years in detention after the murder of another woman in June 2007 in Toulouse. He was released in early April. This 45-year-old man will be indicted for “attempted homicide”.

His victim, aged 57, is now out of danger. Injured by two stab wounds to the throat on Sunday afternoon in the Place Belfort district of Toulouse, this woman is recovering in hospital. The psychological consequences may take longer to heal than the physical cuts.

On Sunday this prostitute was attacked by a man who, at the beginning of June 2007, in a carriage at Matabiau station, killed Marie-Hélène. This “big-hearted” woman met men in the station area. This Spanish woman, living in Toulouse, lived from prostitution. “By choice even if it may surprise you,” his sister, Pilar, explained at the trial in October 2009.

More than 17 years in prison

Marie-Hélène had known Christophe for several weeks. The start of a love story? The murderer had thus described their relationship before the jurors of the Haute-Garonne Assize Court. He couldn’t bear to surprise her in a train car where they had their usual routine with another man who was never identified. Mad with jealousy, according to his explanations, he then killed her with 19 stab wounds. His judges sentenced him to 20 years of criminal imprisonment.

This sentence, this marginal marked by a chaotic childhood, between an absent father and a mother who abandoned him when he was only 6 months old, carried out almost in its entirety. Arrested in August 2007, two months after the murder, in the center of Bordeaux, Christophe first spent 15 years in central custody. When he was released at the end of 2022, he quickly forgot the rules imposed by the sentence enforcement judge.

After a few months of short release, the magistrate decided to return him to detention. He served two more years before leaving prison in early April, after 17 years of imprisonment. “At the end of his sentence,” confides a lawyer.

Money to recover?

Less than two months later, he took action again. His explanations to investigators from the criminal brigade of the territorial crime division will have to be clarified and verified. According to his statements, a story of money embezzled by the victim would explain his actions. An executed contract which does not seem to convince those close to the file. And the victim, heard on Monday, did not tell this story at all.

Already in 2007, the death of Marie-Hélène had raised many questions around the beautiful Spaniard’s supposed wealth. Investigators suspected more of a heinous crime than a love story. In this woman’s apartment, perfectly tidy, with no trace of a search, the police found €10,000. Did they lack any? Christophe always swore no.

This Tuesday, May 28, the prosecution opened a judicial investigation for “attempted murder with a repeat offense”. A crime punishable by life imprisonment. The accused will be indicted. Unsurprisingly, the prosecution has already announced a request for detention. A contrary decision from the judge of freedoms and detention, at the end of the day, would be very surprising.

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