Two men have been sentenced to thirty years imprisonment for the abduction and burying alive of a ‘discreet’ French gay couple.
According to the French gay and lesbian magazine Têtu, Guy Bordenave and Luc Amblard were killed because they were suspected of interfering with the relationship of one of the accused with his sister.
They were confined during the night of March 7 to 8, 2009, and buried alive on March 8 in a hole dug in a sandy bank of the Loire River near La Charite-sur-Loire in the Nièvre, sitting face to face, mouths gagged.
The autopsy showed that they suffocated to death, unable to call for help. Their bodies were found three months later. Several plaintiffs had tears in their eyes as the facts were recalled in court.
Part of the first day of hearings was spent examining murderer Claude Juillet’s ‘complex personality.’ A 55-year-old former casual worker in show business, he was impulsive, angry, antisocial or enigmatic for some, but a caring father of a little girl and not a bad guy for others. “Too nice,” Juillet said of himself, according to Têtu .
At his side was Christopher Rayé, a 39-year-old unemployed lift truck operator and an old friend of Juillet. Tall, short haired, wearing small glasses, he spoke with a southwestern French accent.
The older man’s lawyer argued that it was a crime of passion, not homophobia, though she acknowledged that this ‘might seem unlikely.’
Rayé’s counsel argued that there is no evidence that could show that his client had participated in the burial, but Rayé, a friend of Juillet, and like him unemployed at the time, had gone along with confining the couple because he hoped to get a few bucks out of it.
The sentence is a bit lighter than what had been sought by the Advocate General, Têtu reports. She had asked for life imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 22 years for Juillet.
The two defendants remained impassive on hearing the verdicts. A few sighs were heard from friends of the couple present.
Witnesses had said Bordenave and Amblard were an inseparable and discreet couple. The two event organizers lived in the small village of Couy, about 30 km east of Bourges, in central France, where the trial was held.
Juillet’s former companion, Marie-Laure Bordenave, had never spotted the slightest tension between Juillet and the Amblard-Bordenave couple, to whom she was very close. In 2008, after they had shared the same roof for many years, Marie-Laure asked Juillet to go live elsewhere and look for work, but they had continued to see each other until the double murder.
Translation thanks to Francis Young.
Photo of Guy Bordenave and Luc Amblard