An 8-year-old girl was killed during a wedding celebration in a French Alpine town three weeks ago, and an ex-soldier is accused of killing her. After three weeks of testimony, a trial verdict is expected.
Nordahl Lelandais is being prosecuted by Jacques Dallest for allegedly kidnapping and killing Maelys de Araujo in 2017. Derailed after luring her into his car, Lelandais is being charged with the full penalty of life in prison.
Despite his efforts to rehabilitate himself while in prison, including reading books on Buddhism, the prosecutor argued that the suspect constitutes a “considerable social danger.”
In court, Lelandais sobbed as he confessed that he had lured the girl into his car and had struck her again three or four times when she cried.
At 2:40 in the morning, he invited Maelys to see his dogs, but had not intended to kill her. At the wedding, he provided cocaine to several guests as a last minute guest.
Maelys’ body was buried several miles from the wedding fete, after he led investigators to the burial site. Investigators were never able to prove she had been raped.
Additionally, the suspect was alleged to have molested two cousins, aged 4 and 6, months before the Maelys were murdered in August, 2017.
On the day of the verdict, the 39-year-old Lelandais turned into a pathological liar and was described as psychopathic, narcissistic and psychopathic by psychiatric experts.
During the recess to consider the verdict, Lelandais apologized for all allegations against him and said that he accepted responsibility for what had happened.
He said he understood the “lengthy” period of time ahead of him, and that he has already begun his own introspection. “I know the families won’t accept my excuses, but I present them with the greatest sincerity,” he said.
In his attorney’s testimony at his client’s trial, Alain Jakubowicz said Lelandais’ confession was “a small ray of hope on the road to redemption.” The lawyer urged the court not to sentence Lelandais to life in prison.
Earlier this year, Lelandais was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of a hitch-hiking soldier who left a gay discotheque.
On French nightly news, Maelys’ face had become a fixture of the nightly news as the French public eagerly awaited the conclusion of Lelandais’ trial.
The investigation into the soldier’s disappearance was sparked by Maely’s disappearance and put investigators on Lelandais’ trail.