The three main suspects in the death of a 15-year-old teenager in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme) on Tuesday were indicted on Friday April 12, Agence France-Presse (AFP) learned from the lawyer of two of them. These three people are a 59-year-old father and his 15-year-old and 26-year-old sons.

The latter, suspected of having carried out the fatal stabbing, was indicted for “intentional homicide with premeditation”, Ivan Flaud, the lawyer for the father and the minor, told AFP. A fourth suspect, suspected of having helped them flee, was presented to the investigating judge in the evening.

The father is suspected of having organized a “punitive expedition” against a minor in the Monnaie district, after “a violent and filmed dispute” that occurred a few days earlier and involving his youngest son, according to the Valencia prosecutor, Laurent de Caigny. An altercation began when they found him. While trying to intervene, another 15-year-old, a simple spectator, was stabbed. Taken to hospital, he died shortly after.

An autopsy showed “no trace of defense or struggle” but “a single wound consistent with the entry of a bladed weapon” which was buried “about 20 centimeters into the victim’s body”, said Laurent de Caigny. The eldest son, a trader in the town center of Romans, is suspected of having come with a knife and having drawn it. Faced with investigators, the young man admitted while minimizing “his criminal role”, “claiming to have picked up a knife from the ground and to have struck at random without aiming, which is hardly compatible with the forensic findings and the testimonies”, according to M. de Caigny.

“Without any belligerent intention”

The father of the family, a former maintenance technician “never convicted in his life”, had gone to the Monnaie district to put an end to the school harassment of which another of his sons, younger, was the victim, assured Friday evening his lawyer at AFP. He went there “without any belligerent intention,” assured his lawyer. “We do not blame him for anything concerning the death of the minor,” Mr. Flaud further argued. According to the prosecutor, he also minimized his role during his hearing, ensuring “that he did not see the fatal stabbing of his adult son and only learned of it when he returned home”.

The Monnaie district had already found itself in the spotlight following the death of Thomas, a 16-year-old high school student who was fatally injured in November by a stab at the end of a village ball in Crépol ( Drome).

Tuesday’s homicide “is a new blow for the city”, the mayor of Romans-sur-Isère, Marie-Hélène Thoraval (various right) reacted to AFP on Wednesday. The victim was “a completely ordinary young person”, she noted, deploring “the number of attacks which are carried out with knives” and seeing it as an “increasingly frequent” phenomenon.