The Petah Tikva District Court found Marie-Charlotte Renault and Ronny Ron guilty of the killing of Renault's four-year-old daughter Rose Pizem, in 2008.
Thursday saw the court convict Ron of murder, while Renault was found guilty of solicitation to murder. Renault burst into tears upon hearing the decision and was escorted out of the courtroom. Ron remained motionless.
- For full coverage of the Rose Pizem case click here
Presiding Judge Avraham Tal said the full verdict was too long to be read in open court, but noted that "The special circumstances of this case – the complex relationship between the defendants – created a scenario where (Renault) implored (Ron) to dispose of Rose… She was aware of her power over him and the potentially lethal result, which she desired, even if only as a last resort.
"Given the incessant pleading and when no other solution was found, the defendant, who has a violent personality, decided to cause Rose's death and drowned her, so he could be rid of her forever," Tal read from the verdict.
Renault's motives, said the court, "Followed a feeling that she could no longer care for Rose properly and that the child was hindering her love-life with the defendant."
The solicitation conviction, added the judge, "Stems from the notion that the solicitor aims to plant the idea for the crime in the solicitee's mind; and if the latter has already conceived a similar notion, to convince him of its merits."
The two defendants also tried to coordinate their versions of the events, the court said: "(Renault's) behavior while alone with (Ron) – him calming her down and saying that the police have no evidence against them, and the he would carry any blame – speaks to an attempt to coordinate versions and to her soliciting the murder."
The prosecution informed the court it will seek a life sentence for both. The two's sentencing hearing was set for the end of May.
Obviously in cahoots. Ron and Renault (Photo: Reuven Castro)
Attorney Gil Friedman, representing Ron, said his client is likely to appeal if the court grants the State's request for a life to sentence: "We were hardly surprised by the verdict. Ron says he's responsible. He was pained by Marie's conviction of solicitation. He knows he has to pay a price. There is no doubt that he deserves to be punished, but he is not a murderer."
Revital Swaid, for Renault, did express surprise over her client's conviction for what she called "such a grave offense": "We didn’t expect a conviction, not for murder and not for solicitation. I don't understand the reasoning behind the solicitation ruling."
Swaid said the court still had to review confidential evidence which may affect her client's sentencing.
Four-year-old Rose went missing in May 2008, but her disappearance was not reported to authorities until August of that year.
The disappearance sparked a nationwide missing person's search: Massive police forces, the Police K-9 Unit and coast guard and hundreds of volunteers came together in one of the largest missions the county had ever known; but in September, after both Renault and Ron were interrogated several times, the police were able to piece together the location where the girl might be found.
Unfortunately, the information led to the banks of Tel Aviv's Ha'Yarkon River, where Rose's remains were found, stuffed into a suitcase.
The court has yet to rule on Ynet's motion to release the content of the police interrogation tapes in the case. Friedman agreed, but Swaid opposed the motion.
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook