Illegal immigrant admits killing Avignon teen

29th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

MONTPELLIER, France, July 29 (AFP) - A young Moroccan man has admitted to murdering a 15-year-old French boy with an axe earlier this month in the southern city of Avignon, sources close to the inquiry said Thursday.

MONTPELLIER, France, July 29 (AFP) - A young Moroccan man has admitted to murdering a 15-year-old French boy with an axe earlier this month in the southern city of Avignon, sources close to the inquiry said Thursday.

The suspect, an illegal migrant who says he was born in 1986 in the Moroccan port of Tangiers, first told investigators he was innocent, but later confessed to the July 17 murder, which shocked the nation, investigators said.

The victim, 15-year-old Romain Benavent, was talking with his 13-year-old girlfriend Marion near their homes in Avignon when a man asked the couple for a cigarette as he passed. They refused, and the man left.

But he reappeared minutes later and, without warning, suddenly struck Benavent on the head and neck with an axe, fatally wounding him. He then took the victim's motorbike and fled the scene.

Benavent's girlfriend, the only person who witnessed the crime, identified the Moroccan as the killer on Thursday, investigators said.

The suspect was arrested on Tuesday in a detention center in the south of France when he was recognised from a composite sketch of the killer released by police.

The man, who does not have legal resident papers, was due to be expelled from France.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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