A former French soldier who has admitted to killing an eight-year-old girl in a case that shook the country nearly four years ago was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for beating a fellow soldier to death just a few months before.
Nordahl Lelandais, 38, had admitted to killing Corporal Arthur Noyer, 23, in the early hours of April 12, 2017, after picking him up as he hitchhiked after leaving a nightclub in the French Alps town of Chambery.
Lelandais has also confessed to killing eight-year-old Maelys de Araujo in August 2017, in a case that horrified France and which is set to go to trial next year.
The prosecution had requested the maximum 30 years in joker game prison for the killing of Noyer, but the court in southwestern Savoie sentenced him to 20 years after finding him guilty on Tuesday.
Lelandais, wearing a white shirt and clasping his hands together, did not react when he heard the verdict, which came after seven hours of deliberation in the high-profile week-long trial.
He has insisted that both deaths were accidental, telling police that Noyer had struck him in a parking lot where they had stopped, prompting a fight that ended when Noyer was knocked out.
Lelandais then put Noyer's body in the boot of his car.
He then drove around 20 kilometres (12 miles) and dumped the soldier's body on the side of a road.
During the trial Lelandais offered his "sincere apologies" to the Noyer family, insisting he "never wanted to kill" him.
But prosecutors said the "extreme violence" Lelandais used signalled "the intention to kill".