Leuven / Tienen –
On Thursday evening, the court of assizes in Leuven found Alinda Van der Cruysen (47) guilty of the double murder of Jules Bogaerts (81) and Jeannette Jacobs (78) in 1991. In the end, it was the judges who had to decide after the public jury said yes 7 times. and 5 times no. Public prosecutor Hans Van Espen asks for 25 years in prison.
Seven jurors voted yes to the guilt question after eight hours of deliberation. The other five just said no. That simple majority was not enough to answer the guilt question. The three professional judges therefore also had to vote. That transferred the answer to guilt.
Jules Bogaerts and his wife Jeannette were found dead on December 9, 1991 in their home in Tienen. The culprit was never found. Until five years ago Alinda Van der Cruysen, a great-niece of the victims, came into the picture and was arrested. She has always denied the facts.
“The couple died in an identical way, through the use of blunt and sharp violence,” said assize chairman Peter Hartoch. “The ultimate cause of death was asphyxiation from swallowing blood. The victims also received hard blows to the head and torso with various objects. ”
According to the jury, it is established that Alinda Van der Cruysen was present in the house at the time of the facts. “This is evident from various DNA analyzes. Among other things, on the jeans and shoes that were found, on which her DNA and traces of blood from Bogaerts were found. Particularly on the blue jeans, DNA of her was found in five places. This was evident from both the expertise and the counter expertise. The chance that the DNA belongs to someone else is no more than 1 in 1 billion. ”
Not acting alone
The investigation showed that the shoes and pants were not too big for Van der Cruysen, as she claims. “Her body weight was subject to fluctuations during that period.” Van der Cruysen’s alibi for December 9, 1991 was dismissed as unconvincing.
The jurors stated in the motivation that Van der Cruysen probably did not act alone. “The exact proportion of the various perpetrators cannot be determined. That does not detract from her contribution. She has at least directly contributed to the implementation, through the help offered. ” It is not known who those other perpetrators or perpetrators were.
According to the jury, Van der Cruysen certainly intended to kill them and she also committed the facts premeditated.
Public prosecutor Hans van Espen claimed 25 years in prison for Van der Cruysen. In his claim about the penalty, the public prosecutor once again discussed the violence. “Words are not enough. Horrible, degrading, cowardly, revengeful. The victims have been dishonored even after their death. I don’t see any extenuating circumstance in the way the double murder was carried out. ”
Nick Heinen brought in some extenuating circumstances for his client in his plea about the sentence. “We cannot ignore her blank criminal record and a highly authoritarian father. Added to this are her unrelenting health problems. She was unlucky enough to end up in a tough drug environment at a young age. ”
In his request for a mild punishment, Heinen referred to Van der Cruysen’s current life situation. “Just now she has finally gotten her life back on track. Punishment has several purposes. Retaliation was one of them. Evolution teaches us that this is no longer a goal today. The prison is not Club Med. Don’t just assume that she will be released after one third of her sentence ”, he said.
Perhaps only late in the evening Van der Cruysen knows her sentence.
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