French ‘Scream’ killer teen jailed for 22 years
NANTES, France, April 30 (AFP) - A court in western France on Friday sentenced a 19-year-old man to 22 years in prison for stabbing a female teenage neighbour to death in imitation of a scene from the US horror film "Scream".
The young man, named for legal reasons only as Julien, was found guilty of striking 15-year-old Alice Beaupere 42 times with a kitchen knife on open ground near their homes in the city of Nantes in June 2002.
Alice identified him as the killer before she died.
Presiding judge Jean-Charles Maout, who read the verdict in public after a closed-door trial, said the court had rejected the argument that Julien should be pardoned because he was a minor at the time of the killing.
“The court wanted to highlight the seriousness of the crime committed, but it wanted to take your immaturity into account,” Maout said, saying the decision was made as “a hope for the future”.
Julien – who was 17 at the time of the killing – closed his eyes, lowered his head and appeared to have difficulty breathing as the verdict was read, according to an AFP correspondent in the courtroom.
He had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. Earlier Friday, prosecutors asked for a 25-year jail sentence.
Julien told investigators that he was obsessed with the “Scream” trilogy of films made by director Wes Craven, which depict a series of bloody killings carried out among a group of American teens.
Having decided to carry out a murder, he bought the white mask based on Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” which featured in the films, and unsuccessfully tried to contact two other neighbours before persuading Alice to meet him for a rendez-vous, according to the prosecution.
Psychiatrists who examined him after the crime said that Julien showed no sign of mental instability. He has spent the last two years in prison where he is preparing for his baccalaureat school-leaving examination.
Subject: French news