French teenager charged with murder over teacher killing: Lawyer

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Prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old boy with murder over the fatal stabbing of his Spanish teacher during class earlier this week in southwest France, his lawyer said on Friday.

The teenager would be held in custody at an unnamed “facility that will take into account his youth and the care he needs,” lawyer Thierry Sagardoytho said.

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The boy reported a “little voice” suggested he kill Agnes Lassalle, 52, at the school in the southwestern seaside town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz on Wednesday, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

In “somewhat inconsistent” conversations with a psychiatrist, the boy said he had had a fight with a classmate the day before and wanted to “punish him in some way” by committing the killing in front of him, prosecutor Jerome Bourrier said.

“He also admitted a kind of animosity towards his Spanish teacher, in a subject where he wasn’t getting good grades, unlike his other classes,” he added.

He had tried to commit suicide in October and had since been prescribed anti-depressants, the prosecutor said.

One pupil at the school described Lassalle as a “good listener,” a “very kind teacher.”

Schools across France held a minute of silence in her memory on Thursday afternoon.

Pupils returned to their classrooms in the Saint-Jean-de-Luz school on Friday morning under the watchful eye of three policemen posted at the school gates, an AFP reporter said.

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