Monday, September 29, 2014

Murder of Agnes Matthew, sentenced to life imprisonment, a retrial on appeal – Le Nouvel Observateur

Murder of Agnes Matthew, sentenced to life imprisonment, a retrial on appeal – Le Nouvel Observateur

  • In June 2013, the Assize Court of minors Haute-Loire is went beyond the 30 year prison sentence sought by the prosecution to against ‘Matthew M., who was sentenced to life imprisonment. A single conviction to date to a minor, except that of Patrick Dils in 1989 for the double murder of Montigny-les-Metz (acquitted in 2002.)
  • Matthew M., 20 years old today, was convicted of rape and murder in November 2011 of Agnes Marin, then aged 13, and rape in August 2010 Julie F., aged 16 years.
  • The appeal before the Court of Assizes of minors Riom in the Puy-de-Dome, lasts 10 days and is scheduled to take part in camera the defense of Julie F. has conditionally accepted that the discussions did not concern his client made public.

(Article Isabelle Monnin published in “Le Nouvel Observateur” of 8 December 2011, shortly after the death of Agnes.)

In a few minutes they will take him . He just told them last night, he lied about the scratches on his cheek: it’s not on his way to his lesson of code that he fell into the brambles but going to smoke a joint. By Thursday morning, the police, who for twelve hours looking Agnes, this blond listen carefully. His first name, Matthew, returned several times in their ears since they have been warned that the internal 13 year old and a half was missing. Students say she had planned to pick magic mushrooms with him that Wednesday. When he reappeared at 17:30 for the study, they found strange and too long in the shower, and suspect his sweat.

“It looked like a boy of 4 years. He wanted that we take care of him “

After the meal, the lack of Agnes could still think of a fugue or a bad mushroom trip. Adults have asked her where she was, he swore he did not know. A little pale – they all were then, blood frozen by anxiety – he participated in the search, crying with others “Agnes, come back!” before going to bed on his lies. It’s morning now, and Agnes did not return, he knows they feel. In a few minutes the police will take him. He will say the rest. It was not the code, it was not a seal, it was not the thorns. But the long, hard and sharp nails Agnes covered daily with a varnish of a different color. Before leaving with them, Matthew seeking care. It shows a small wound, he cowers, he asked to be disinfected. “It looked like a boy of 4 years, says a witness of the scene. He wanted to take care of him.”

“How could such a nightmare is it possible?”

The mystery of Matthew is there, whole, miserable, in this scene nursing: cruel, cold but still so young. Since he told the police, after thirty hours of police custody, where he left the body violated, horribly bruised and charred Agnes, in a timber next to their boarding of Chambon-sur-Lignon, the question haunts those who knew him, loved, held, helped or appraised. Every night in to banging your head against the wall: how did I could not see it, how such a nightmare is it possible

We know little about him. His family chose, out of respect for Agnes, to shut up: “What we can say is inaudible to the moment,” said one of the two lawyers. We must therefore satisfy the foam, what is said of those who knew him a little, so bad. Matthew is not a lost child. He will not come bigger cohort of small high criminal violence of the streets for the first games on sidewalks battered cities. He grew up on the stony paths of scrubland, in the shade of olive trees and old stone-and-Solorgues Medley, a village of 1,500 souls, half an hour from Nimes.

A family happier and banal that can be

He turns 18 in late December. He is the eldest of three children, the only son. His two sisters were 7 and 12 years. His parents are in their forties as there are thousands, professionally and socially well integrated. His father, after a career in teaching, mounted a box of continuing education. Her mother, an accountant in a clinic in the area, is councilor since 2008 in the village where they settled for fifteen years. The family, for what we know, is as happy and mundane as can be until thunder of 2 August 2010 Matthew 16.

Up then, if caused distress to his parents, it is for his dyslexia. And if they have shenanigans sometimes it’s because of video games. He plays too much, it enervates, they prohibit it ignores. This time it’s different. “She called me and said” I sometimes a great misfortune, the police came for Matthew, “recalls the village mayor Later, she recalled.” It’s about rape “

Charged with statutory rape Weapon

stupor falls for the first time on the shoulders of his parents when they learn the story of the crime. Their son drew Solene (1), a girl from the village, in the woods on the pretext of making him 10 euros, he tied her to a tree and raped her. Very traumatized, she told how suddenly the opposite Matthew had changed, the objects used to subdue and had almost died. Charged with statutory rape with a weapon, Matthew was incarcerated in prison Pontet near Avignon. He spent four months in custody temporary.

The judge hearing his case launched several appraisals. Altogether four professional, a psychiatrist, two psychologists and educator will discuss his case separately. Without detection. They meet his parents and will see him in prison. Both psychologists experts submit their first conclusions. They believe that Matthew is not dangerous. They add that it is “réinsérable” sesame for second chance. When the psychologist and educator Judicial Protection of Youth (PJJ) make their report, which is in the same direction, in January 2011, Matthew is already out of prison. It was released on November 26, 2010 A year to the day before the funeral of Agnes.

A does one put a wolf in a sheep?

On his release, he is subject to judicial review. This fully respect the terms: prohibition from residing in the Gard obligation to undergo therapy and … to live in the boarding College-High School Cevennes, the only one who accepted. “Since he was a good student, the question of the place in a closed educational center, reserved for other profiles, does not even arise,” assumes Jean-Marie Angelini, then head of the PJJ responsible for its folder. A do you put a wolf in a sheep? “We protected the girls from Gard, not those of Chambon,” a furious matron of the institution, without barriers huge campus where girls outnumber boys.

When, as early as in September 2010, his parents seek a place for him, Matthew is still in custody. They do not hide the director who receives, but does not specify the reasons. The Cevennes, no questions asked. Education is compulsory, you need a place to the young, and there is a tradition of hospitality here. The record is filled. Fill the same as a few months later the parents of a little girl and a little rebellious with painted nails came from Paris.

Most of the time it is “stuck” to his girlfriend

When Agnes tumbles in Cevennes in April, Matthew, with his yoyo and its rhetoric on Tibet, stands out as an old one. She’s in college, he is in high school. In this boarding school where sixty students live, including weekends, everyone knows everyone. Since the socio-educational center was closed for lack of funding, young people kill more than ever is the time to play, a bar in the town where we change the world by trying to top excess. Everyone is looking for a style. Matthew ages and boasts of being a hacker, you have tried all drugs and even robbed pharmacies for methadone.

Most of the time it is “stuck” to his girlfriend Maeva (1), a Tahitian who has fallen upon him upon his arrival. She’s a year younger than him, adults sometimes worry about the influence it has on it as when it tries to convert the Gothic look. Teens remember a couple of fusion and that Matthew did not hesitate to grope in front of others. They also say they were in the woods “do sex stuff.” Maeva but never complained of her lover. Instead, she found to her parents another family where she spends weekends and holidays.

As if there was in him “a hidden core”

From February 2011, Matthew began therapy, as the judicial review required. Twice a month, he went to a psychologist. It can find nothing to worry about. As if it existed in a “hidden core” where are woven the darker designs. On the surface all is well. On March 25, 2011, following the teacher Matthew – she meets him at weekends he spent with his grandfather in the Vaucluse – takes the long and winding road to Chambon. She has an appointment with the school principal, the school counselor and principal teacher for an update on Matthew. She did finally see the school counselor. At no time, she reveals the reason for his troubles with the law, the law on the presumption of innocence and the confidentiality of the investigation it is prohibited. At no time, the CPE refers to any difficulty with Matthew.

Twice before the council of school life

But in June 2011 , when her parents bothered to cross those Solene finally manage to sell their home-and-Medley Solorgues to settle a little further, Matthew wavers. His notes are catastrophic and spends twice before the board of school life cévenol College. Whenever the price is the same: exclusion of one week. But justice is not notified. What has he done to deserve such a punishment? To ask the question is up against the silence of the administration and the most outlandish rumors that dot discussions Chambon and in the Gard. Here Matthew is described as a weird guy who keeps his girlfriend on a leash, there like a hungry pornography breakfast lunch watching movies X. Who saw? Who knows? Someone is someone who told me.

Everyone thought he was on track

Since the beginning of September, Matthew had abandoned the Gothic look and had better grades. Everyone thought he was on the right track. Of course it does not always showed empathy for his first victim, but as the shrinks say, “things fell into place.” Maeva had left high school, but they continued to see the weekend. She was with her parents when they called to tell them, once again, that the police had taken him. Agnes has not had a chance to Solene. His last ride has been invaded by a guy with a killing spree that had escaped the psychiatrists. Matthew had everything ready, he left him no escape.

Chambon-sur-Lignon, near the charred tree where she died, the stunning is like a fog that covers everything. Even anger against those institutions that have worked so well side by side without exchanging essentially not expressed. In those Protestant lands, where it is believed that a school is always better than a prison, all feel betrayed, hurt in their beliefs. As if he had killed more Agnes. “We are faced with the case that puts everything on the floor, said sadly Jean-Marie Angelini, Educator. The only fault in this story, it’s him.” What Matthew is it the name? The inability to prevent evil.

(1) The names have been changed except those of Agnes and Matthew.

Isabelle Monnin – Le Nouvel Observateur

(Article published in “Le Nouvel Observateur” December 8, 2011)

( Read also: Murder of Agnes: a young psychopath before the assizes , Isabelle Monnin, published in June 2013 before the trial at first instance)


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