Tried since Monday “for intentional violence against a 15-year-old minor resulting in death without the intention of giving it”, the two main defendants, a 26-year-old man and his 24-year-old sister, face twenty years of criminal imprisonment.
They wanted to punish him for a “big stupidity” : the Assize Court of Haut-Rhin delivers its verdict on Wednesday against four members of the family of Seal-Evan, who died at the age of nine under the blows of his brother and sister. Tried since Monday “for intentional violence against a 15-year-old minor resulting in death without the intention of giving it”, the two main defendants, a 26-year-old man and his 24-year-old sister, face twenty years of criminal imprisonment. Advocate General Laura Duc requested 14 years in prison for the young man and six years in prison with a warrant for his sister.
A sibling left to fend for itself
She asked for four years in prison with a warrant for the mother of the victim, prosecuted for “complicity in intentional violence” and a three-year suspended sentence for the older brother’s ex-girlfriend, accused of “non-prevention of a crime”. The big brother is the only one to appear detained, the three accused being under judicial control. The facts occurred on Sunday, September 16, 2018, in the apartment of this family of Cameroonian origin, in Mulhouse.
The siblings are left to fend for themselves: the mother, as often, is absent. Present are the two eldest and their two little brothers -Seal-Evan, the youngest, and his 11-year-old brother- as well as the oldest partner, pregnant. At the end of the afternoon, on the pretext of a note in Seal-Evan’s correspondence book, the blows began to rain down, first with a belt, then a broomstick. The correction session will last until midnight. The sister partly filmed and recorded it. In a recording shown at the hearing on Tuesday, the child is heard pleading “God, help me, God” and address his brother who strikes him: “Protect me, you are the king”.
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He ends up losing consciousness. The sister alerts the emergency services, which will not be able to revive him when they arrive shortly after midnight. The criminal nature of the death was not immediately identified but “suspicious traces” on the body led the hospital to alert the police, had indicated the prosecutor of the Republic of Mulhouse, Edwige Roux-Morizot. The autopsy and further examinations showed that he was unconscious, even in a coma, probably several hours before the call for help.
He “would have died of suffocation by his own gastric contents”, “while he was unconscious”, according to Edwige Roux-Morizot. The blows themselves were not fatal “but it was as a result of these blows that the child died”, she added. So many elements which had led to the arrest of the four relatives of Seal-Evan, struck by his two eldest “in the presence of his sister-in-law, and with a more distant presence of their own mother”, according to the prosecutor. Heard by the Assize Court on Tuesday, the two elders partly acknowledged the facts, the young man denying having used a broomstick, yet attested to by his youngest brother. The latter, heard behind closed doors as a minor, mentioned a “relentlessness” on Seal-Evan.
According to the teenager, in the family, belt shots were reserved for “big nonsense”, sometimes linked to school homework: this Sunday, the word in the notebook, likely to draw attention to a family who had already undergone a social investigation, served as a trigger. For the eldest, it’s his mother, so “in party mode” in Paris, who told him on the phone to “manage the thing”. According to him, his mother practiced physical punishment: “We grew up in a place where typing is normal”.
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His sister also admitted to hitting, but not in a way “voluntary”. As for the ex-girlfriend, she explained that she was in pain “reacted (…) Instead of calling the emergency services, I stayed to watch my boyfriend hitting his little brother”. The mother disputed having asked the eldest to hit her youngest son, much to the chagrin of the President of the Court: “Nonsense!”launched Christine Schlumberger. “You didn’t want social services to have control over your family and therefore your income! The reality is that you asked your son to type” Seal-Evan, the magistrate got carried away.
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