In their verdict delivered after five hours of deliberation, the jurors retained the “extraordinary seriousness of this gesture” resulting, according to them, from the will of the accused “to escape at all costs from an arrest”, with the consequence the death of the police officer from the Operational Support Group (GAO) on the night of January 10 to 11, 2020.

An “indisputable homicidal intention”, explained the president of the court Antoine Molinar-Min.

In his submissions, Advocate General Olivier Nagabbo had demanded life imprisonment for the 24-year-old accused, believing, like the civil parties, that there was “no doubt” about his intention to kill.

“It’s a verdict of relief,” reacted Jean-François Barre, lawyer for the Labois family. The latter and the many police officers gathered at the time of the statement welcomed the verdict with great emotion for long moments.

“The most important thing for us is the recognition of the intention to kill. Because in the end, it frees us all from this feeling of guilt. That’s what we all expected from this trial, to really put the guilt on the good side, it’s his fault,” said Marianne Charret-Lassagne, head of departmental security at the time.

The Advocate General, like the civil parties, had pleaded that this intention was reflected both in the percussion, but also in “all the acceleration of the van”. The body of the policeman had been dragged about ten meters.

– “It’s like that” –

Judged since Monday, the accused denied any desire to kill.

“The homicidal intention was retained, provided it was admitted that the accused could keep hope, demonstrate that he was able to think, to progress”, commented his lawyer Julien Charle.

“He had these few words, saying it’s like that. It’s a way to respect the court decision, to try to think about it and to hear it,” said the lawyer, recalling that he now had ten days to appeal.

“We sentenced this man to more than his age,” he noted.

On the night of the tragedy, the GAO police officer took part in an operation aimed at arresting a team of criminals who had just stolen a load of washing powder in Isère.

On the outskirts of Lyon, the Volkswagen van which was transporting the stolen goods found itself stuck by two vehicles and attempted a maneuver to get free, hitting Franck Labois head-on, standing in his way gun in hand.

He didn’t shoot. “Franck Labois loved life so much that it was impossible for him to kill,” said Me Laurent-Franck Liénard, lawyer for the victim’s colleagues.

There will be no trace of braking on the ground and the policeman will die three days later. The investigation made it possible to trace three men, including Farès D., finally arrested on January 16.

The defendant’s lawyers hammered home during their pleadings that he only thought of “running away”, and pointed to the “uncertainties” of the file while the lawyers for the policeman’s family described them as a man with a head of a “determined” team.

Previously, his relatives had described him as “kind and calm”, but also “influenceable”, at the mention of early delinquency: a dozen facts already condemned, plus a few judgments still awaited, in particular for the theft of the fatal night.

“I don’t condone what he did, but he’s not a bad guy,” pleaded his mother. “He didn’t want it to come to this, he told me,” she says. “He’s not a murderer, he’s a thief,” said one of his cousins, who came spontaneously to testify at the bar.

In the morning, the testimonies ended with the intervention of the brother of the victim, who wished to address the accused, despite the emotion. “I would like him to apologize to my mother,” he said.

A few hours later, when he was speaking for the last time, the accused spoke “to the family, to the brothers, to the mother”. “I sincerely apologize,” he said simply.