Court Frees Father Jailed in Slaying of Son’s Alleged Killer

<i> From Reuters</i>

A Frenchman jailed for killing the alleged murderer of his 4-year-old son was released Thursday after a court accepted his application for freedom, officials said.

Jean-Marie Villemin was sentenced earlier this month to five years in jail, including one year suspended, for the 1985 revenge killing of his cousin, Bernard Laroche, with a shotgun. Laroche had earlier been charged with murdering Villemin’s son, Gregory, but the charges had been dropped.

Because Villemin had already spent three years in jail--over half the sentence--he was entitled under French law to seek his release.

Villemin admitted shooting Laroche in March, 1985, in the belief that he had murdered his son.


Gregory was found dead in a river, his hands and feet bound. For four years before his slaying, the Villemin family had received hundreds of anonymous letters and phone calls boiling with anger and jealousy from someone they dubbed “The Crow,” after a 1943 French film about a letter writer who terrorized a village.