VERDICT The jury finds Almeida guilty of the murder of Álex, Lardero's child

The jury court that has tried Francisco Javier Almeida for the crime of the Lardero child has found him guilty of the murder and sexual assault of 9-year-old Álex

VERDICT The jury finds Almeida guilty of the murder of Álex, Lardero's child

The jury court that has tried Francisco Javier Almeida for the crime of the Lardero child has found him guilty of the murder and sexual assault of 9-year-old Álex. This was unanimously estimated by the nine members of the jury, who made their verdict public this Thursday, at the Provincial Court of Logroño, after two days of deliberations.

The jury has considered it proven that Almeida intentionally killed Álex and that the victim had "no chance to defend himself", that is, that he acted treacherously and therefore committed a murder.

To argue that he wanted to kill him, they have based themselves on the testimony of the experts who declared that it is necessary to exert pressure on the neck for three to five minutes to cause death by suffocation. The child lost consciousness after 8-10 seconds. "We consider that after exerting pressure with the forearm and leaving him unconscious, we see no other purpose for continuing to press if the victim's death is not sought," said the jury.

Álex could not defend himself and this is demonstrated, according to the jury, "the physical difference of the defendant, approximately 186 centimeters tall and 100 kilos in weight, and the minor, approximately 139 centimeters in height and 28 kilos in weight, added to the age difference: 54 years the defendant and the victim 9".

Before strangling him, according to the verdict, Almeida sexually assaulted the minor, and to achieve this he carried out "extremely serious acts of physical force", a point that the nine members of the jury have also agreed unanimously.

They have also all agreed that the intention of Almeida, after ending the life of Álex, was to hide his corpse. "He kills him with the intention of hiding his body, since, knowing that he had carried out the sexual assault and seeing himself pressured by the calls of all the doorbells, he feels cornered and this is how he appreciates his actions. Take keys from the car, he tries to get to the garage and, when he is surprised by the neighbor from the second, the police officers from the third go down to the second. Normal actions are not carried out, call 112, calls for help, request for help".

After the verdict, the case awaits the sentence imposed by the magistrate-president of the court according to the opinions of the jury. Both the Prosecutor's Office and the private and popular prosecution have requested that he be sentenced to 15 years in prison for the crime of sexual assault and to reviewable permanent prison for the murder, since two assumptions of those contemplated by law to apply permanent prison are met. : It is a minor under 16 years of age and there was sexual assault.

It will be the third sentence for Almeida, 55, for similar crimes, since he was already sentenced in 1993 to seven years in prison for sexually assaulting a minor. Upon his release from prison, in 1998, he reoffended again and raped and murdered a 26-year-old real estate agent in Logroño with whom he had arranged to show him a flat.

For this crime and sexual assault, he was sentenced to a total of 30 years. He served 21 years in prison and went out again in April 2020, after Penitentiary Institutions, despite the unfavorable report issued by the Treatment Board of the prison in which he was located -El Dueso, in Santoña (Cantabria) - decided to grant him the third degree.

Almeida was released on probation and settled -in a rental apartment and next to a park and a school- in Lardero (Logroño), a town where, on October 28, 2021, he committed the acts for which he has now been court. That afternoon/night, nine-year-old Álex celebrated Halloween disguised as the exorcist's girl in the Entre Ríos park while his parents ate dinner at a nearby picnic area. Almeida took the boy from the park. A four-year-old girl who was playing with him notified the parents and gave indications about the man she had left with. Although the family and the police services quickly activated the search for him, when the agents went to Almeida's building, he was already going down the stairs with the dead child in his arms.

"Have no doubt that this individual, the moment he sets foot on the street again, will do it again. For Álex and for all the victims of this barbarian, this heartless, this ruthless being, I I strongly ask for that guilty verdict," the prosecution lawyer, Alicia Redondo, asked the jury in her last speech, in which she defined Almeida as "the vilest personification of evil" and "a predator sex that satisfies their most disgusting desires".

The prosecutor, Enrique Stern, for his part, described him as a man of "extreme cold blood." "These days that we have been seeing some horrible photographs, that we have been listening to the father, that even the psychologist began to cry... Have you ever seen any regretful gesture of Mr. Almeida? Have you seen him at any time sad? Have you noticed that I had any anguish because of what we were seeing in the photographs? Have you seen any gesture of empathy with respect to the parents?", he said about his lack of affectation.

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