A man who murdered the mother of their two children on the island of Corsica in March 2019 has been sentenced to life in prison in a case that has sparked outcry over domestic killings of women in France.
Julie Douib was shot dead by her 14-year-old former partner, Bruno Garcia-Cruciani, a few days after learning that the prosecution had closed a case she had initiated against him for threatening behavior, harassment and assault.
The widespread indignation aroused by his assassination has become a rallying call for the fight against femicide in France.
A court in the city of Bastia on Wednesday rejected the claim of Garcia-Cruciani, 44, that Douib’s death was accidental, ruling that he had acted premeditatedly.
She sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 22 years and also deprived him of parental authority over the couple’s two boys, now aged 11 and 13. He was also banned from possession of a weapon for 15 years.
Douib, who was 34 at the time of her death, was one of 146 people killed by a current or former partner in France in 2019. She was then in a new relationship.
Her murder outraged gender-based violence activists, who accused the state of failing to protect her.
The investigation revealed that Garcia-Cruciani found murder convictions on Google and how to “move to Thailand” before going to Douib’s home and shooting him.
Garcia-Cruciani’s lawyer, Camille Radot, had asked the court not to make his client an example to appease public anger at domestic violence, saying he was “not a monster”.
In the aftermath of Douib’s death, French lawmakers introduced the use of electronic tracking bracelets for perpetrators of domestic violence that alert women as well as the police if known abusers approach their victims.
Emmanuel Macron’s government has also pledged to improve police training on the management of domestic violence cases and to create 1,000 new places in emergency accommodation centers for victims.
In 2020, the number of women killed by a current or former partner in France fell to 90.