Wed, Apr 18, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Suspect charged with four killings near Paris

AFP, EVRY, FRANCE

The main suspect in the murders of four people in the southern suburbs of Paris over five months was charged with murder on Monday and is being held in custody, prosecutors said.

The 33-year-old man, who was detained on Saturday, has not admitted participating in the killings, said Marie-Suzanne Le Queau, prosecutor in the Evry district on the southern edge of Paris.

After being questioned by police for 48 hours, the suspect was indicted for the three more recent killings.

Another judicial examination is under way to consider the first murder, which took place in November last year.

If found guilty, he faces life in prison.

Le Queau said police had found in the man’s possession a spent cartridge from the gun used in all four attacks.

“During the course of searches based on information provided by the suspect ... were found a motorcycle and a helmet corresponding to descriptions given by several witnesses and a 7.65mm cartridge that an examination has already showed came from the weapon used to commit the murders,” she said.

Forensic tests would be required on two 7.65 caliber guns in the search for the murder weapon, Le Queau added.

She also said the suspect, who is “single and lives alone,” had been convicted of crimes on six previous occasions, including being given an eight-month jail sentence in 2004 for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon.

The shootings, between Nov. 27 and April 5, raised fears of a serial killer stalking the southern Parisian suburbs. France also had to deal with the trauma of a series of deadly shootings in Toulouse.

Police had said nothing suggested a political or religious motive for the killings near Paris, but that investigators had not ruled anything out.

The suspect’s lawyer, Laurent Servillat, said earlier that he was “calm and cooperative” with police. He said the suspect had an “extremely complicated and fragile personality” and a “very chaotic history.”

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