“We are good people, it’s too hard”: at Mas Saint-Antoine in Saint-Gilles, a double crime and a family in tatters

“We are good people, it’s too hard”: at Mas Saint-Antoine in Saint-Gilles, a double crime and a family in tatters


Farid Khial, un infirmier, est accusé de meurtre et d’assassinat devant la cour d’assises du Gard, pour avoir tué le 17 mai 2021 sur cette propriété agricole Jean-Paul Emmanuel et sa compagne Chantal Christophe, à l’issue d’un conflit mêlant haine familiale irrationnelle et conflit de voisinage.

The document released this Wednesday April 3 at the Gard Assize Court is as astonishing as it is terrible. On May 17, 2021, around 7 p.m., the surveillance cameras of one of the houses of Mas Saint-Antoine, in Saint-Gilles, where two branches of rsquo;same family, partially capture the double crime that has been tried since Tuesday in Nîmes.

A spring evening in the Camargue

On the screen, an enclosure, where the two dogs of Farid and Mylène Khial, parents of three children, live. In the background, a path, cherry trees, and all the sweetness of a late spring day in the Camargue. We hear the song of the birds, which barely disturbs the silence. And then out of the house comes this 53-year-old nurse, a great sportsman, who walks with a determined step, opens the gate, and walks away to the right, where the man walks away. we can barely see a car, parked a few steps away.

The next moment, bursts of voices. And then shrill screams of a woman. Terrible, chilling. "Stop! Stop!" Silence. The man comes back, moves the car, calls his son to bring in the dogs, leaves.

Wooden club and latex gloves

"There are three trips back and forth, and each time the screaming will start again. It lasts a good ten minutes, and the last time, Farid Khial is wearing latex gloves. Then we see him going out with  a wooden club"describes the gendarme who led the investigation. The man goes to the left this time. "The sounds will be less perceptible, but we can still hear screams"  pursues the investigator.

It's a little after 8 p.m., and this man with an unblemished career, a pharmacy graduate in Algeria, temporary nurse, tireless worker and married for 25 years to the daughter of & rsquo;one of the owners of the estate has just killed two people. Near her car, Chantal Christophe, 67, received several blows, one of which broke her arm. She has a fractured sinus and was suffocated with a plastic bag over her head.

Bodies hidden in a car

Jean-Paul Emmanuel, 73, had his skull smashed in an agricultural shed located a little further away on the estate. Their bodies were found the next day, in the trunk and passenger compartment of Chantal's car, parked in another hangar with a padlocked door.

Since then, the court has tried to understand the genesis of this drama, born between re-heated family hatred and exacerbated neighborhood conflict. On this vast jointly owned agricultural estate, where cherries are produced, among other things, two brothers live together, Jean-Paul, the victim, and his brother Jean-Louis, Mylène's father.

Two brothers like cat and dog

"Jean-Paul, with his brother, it’s cats and dogs, they argued and the moment of ;afterwards they were going to help each other" says Olivier Riboulet, "fighting bull breeder" and to whom his friend had left his land "in friendly rent".

With Chantal, described by many as "a woman of character" relationships are even more tense& ;nbsp;: she showers insults on Mylène, who came to settle in 2017 with Farid and their three children at the estate, near her parents, after twenty years spent in Montpellier. Chantal deliberately accelerates on the gravel while passing in front of their door, to reach her house, further on the estate. "As soon as we arrived we had the feeling that our presence was disturbing" sigh Alexandre, their 23 year old son, engineer.

"I'm going to cut his throat!"

And the tension, hatred and threats are rising. "Lately, Jean-Paul was afraid for his life" tells the florist who used one of his sheds. A new altercation scene is projected, where Jean-Paul, Jean-Louis and Farid shout at each other while making big gestures, with Chantal's cries off-camera. & quot;Ie'm going to crush your head, asshole, and I'm going to slit your fat one too!" shouts Farid.

"I'm going to take you all down! " replies Jean-Paul.

In his cubicle, Farid Khial, face like a knife blade and black jacket, is scribbling on a small notebook. At the stand, Mylène, his wife, sobs. "We all know each other, we're good people, it's too hard". The poignant hearing ends with tears from each branch of the family, each on their side of the room. Verdict Friday.

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