The murderer of a hitchhiker sentenced to life imprisonment and 22 years of security by the Assize Court of Nîmes

This Tuesday, the accused of the murder of the hitchhiker in Sommières was sentenced to life imprisonment with a security period of 22 years. During the trial, the 26-year-old showed no remorse.

It’s the end of a chilling trial… The Gard assize jury finally sentenced Mathieu Danel, the author of the bloody murder of Claire Reynier, a hitchhiker, to life imprisonment with a period 22-year security. The jurors thus followed the recommendations of the Advocate General.

This Tuesday at the end of the day, the Advocate General Stéphane Bertrand had requested life imprisonment, accompanied by a security period of 22 years against the accused. ” I ask for a “penalty of elimination”, he exclaimed. “He has excluded himself from the society of Men. Condemn him to this exclusion. Because he cannot join society. For an extraordinary affair , an extraordinary personality, an extraordinary sentence…”

On this second day of the trial, the Gard Assize Court took an interest in the personality of the accused through the various expert reports. They did not find any traumatic event in the construction of the young man of 26 years, described as intelligent and thoughtful but in failure on the social, sentimental and academic level. Failures that pushed Mathieu Danel to create a virtual personality. “He will build a character and lock himself in this character”, explains Jérôme Arnal, his lawyer. “What we had in this trial was the demonstration of this personality that he created for himself because he still maintains that he is this person but I think that does not reflect his real personality.”

Throughout his trial, Mathieu Danel is cold and detached. He claims to have killed Claire Reynier, a 39-year-old woman, English-German interpreter guide out of curiosity with 17 stab wounds. “For Mathieu Danel, Madame Reynier does not exist”, analyzes the lawyer for the civil parties, Maître Anthony Chabert. “Besides, when we talk about his suffering, he denies it, it’s one of the only things he denies. However, we know from the medical examiner’s report that Madame Reynier suffered. There are defense lesions which have been abominable. But that, he does not want to see it, he is not able to see it.

He had wanted to kill for years, to find out what it felt like. When he picks up the woman hitchhiking that night in June 2018, he seizes the opportunity. But the accused claims to have been disappointed by the experience, to have felt nothing.

The young man affirms that he has no regrets and that, if he does not want to start again, he declares that he cannot promise that it will happen.

“He is someone who designed an act to stage himself and who continues this staging today. He presents himself as someone who has scaffolded, developed a plan to pass on to posterity and that is why today he proclaims it loud and clear”

Maître Anthony Chabert, lawyer for the civil parties

The lack of remorse of empathy for his victim and his family as well as the threat of a recurrence undoubtedly weighed in the decision of this assize jury. The verdict was rendered after only 1h30 of deliberation.

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