'Sweet' teenager in court for killing family

24th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

ROUEN, France, Nov 24 (AFP) - A 15-year-old boy who shot dead most of his family in a rampage last year that shocked France appeared in court Thursday for the beginning of his two-day trial for murder.

ROUEN, France, Nov 24 (AFP) - A 15-year-old boy who shot dead most of his family in a rampage last year that shocked France appeared in court Thursday for the beginning of his two-day trial for murder.

Identified only as Pierre F. because of his age, the proceedings were taking place behind closed doors in the western French city of Rouen, close to the village of Ancourteville-sur-Hericourt, where the multiple crime took place in October 2004.

Pierre faces up to 20 years in prison for the murders of his parents and four-year-old brother, and for the attempted murder of his 12-year-old sister who survived despite being shot in the chest.

The state prosecutor handling the case, Joseph Schmit, did not say what might have motivated the killings.

He said Pierre had been considered a "sweet boy in a family without a history of problems" in the village, and that "some even spoke of him as an angel."

Aged 14 at the time of the murders, Pierre has been held in detention pending the trial. He arrived in a police car hidden under a blanket.

According to the prosecution's case, the boy confessed after his arrest, but gave little reason for the slayings beyond stating that, while doing homework at home alone, "all of a sudden, I just had the idea to kill."

Taking his father's hunting rifle, he sat down to watch a video of the animated movie 'Shrek' in the lounge room.

Then, as his mother, sister, brother and father each came home over a two-and-a-half-hour period, he shot them, returning to watch the film in between.

Psychiatrists who evaluated him said the boy likely suffered a profound psychological change at the time of the crime but remained aware of what he was doing.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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