Self-defense rejected for Nice jeweler
A jeweler named Stephan Turk in the city of Nice was held up by two robbers on Wednesday September 11. As the two fled on a motor bike, the jeweler shot his gun "three or four" times, killing 18-year-old Antony Asli, who was seated behind the driver. Now Stephan Turk has been charged with voluntary manslaughter ("homicide volontaire"). The unusual case (usually the criminal is not killed by the victim) has elicited countless responses in the comment sections of the media websites, mostly in favor of the jeweler, and Facebook has been inundated with "likes" in support of Turk. Here is one article from Le Figaro, dated September 13:
There will be no plea of self-defense. While the Facebook page for supporters of the jeweler received more than 500,000 "likes", Stephan Turk was indicted on Friday for voluntary manslaughter. He has also been confined to his home, under electronic surveillance, as the prosecutor of Nice had demanded. "He therefore avoided provisional incarceration, fortunately," responded Mr. De Vita, his attorney.
On Wednesday, he shot to death one of the criminals who had robbed his jewelry store. At 67, this jeweler from Nice, with no criminal record, pleaded self-defense. However, the prosecutor, Éric Bedos, believed that the man had "acted deliberately with intent to kill."
"The jeweler's life was not directly threatened," he added to justify the rejection of a plea of self-defense. But he also explained that Stephan Turk felt "unsafe and shot instinctively." "He has no prior convictions, he makes a living. He committed this act in a particular context of great violence perpetrated against him…" This is also why the prosecutor had asked that he be confined to his home under electronic surveillance. Turk risks thirty years in prison.
Note: That is a ridiculously severe penalty considering the French justice system today. Even hardened criminals aren't given thirty years. I suspect they will give him a few months with probation. But I'm only speculating…
An autopsy, lab reports and ballistics will determine the type of weapon that killed the young robber as well as "the angles of the shots". The event will be reconstructed to complete the investigation.
Wednesday's 9:00 a.m. burglary at La Turquoise jewelry shop in Nice was the second in less than a year. The man killed, Antony Asli, was known to the police for theft, violence and traffic violations.
The questions being discussed at the websites involve the rejection by the prosecutor of the plea of self-defense, the fact that possibly the jeweler did act too hastily, since the robbers had fled, and finally, most interestingly, the change in the definition of self-defense over the years.
From another Figaro article:
Sunday on RTL Television, a young woman claiming to be the widow of the robber expressed her indignation that the jeweler was released (note: he was sent home, under surveillance, as opposed to being imprisoned.) "Antony was my man, he was going to have a child, he was wonderful, we want to mourn in peace and they let him go. But rapists are put in jail, why do they let this one go free, why? He loaded his gun, went out and shot several times from behind, he had a reason, he did not aim at the wheel, he wanted to take his life. Who is he to take a life," she denounced.
Note: According to the jeweler's lawyer, he did not go out of his shop. The shots were fired from inside the jewelry store.
I've read that the number of "likes" has passed one million.