French woman given 8-1/2 years for banker's murder

Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:24pm EDT
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By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The woman who killed banker Edouard Stern, a banking scion and one of France's richest men, after sado-masochistic sex and an argument over $1 million was sentenced on Thursday to 8-1/2 years in prison for murder.

Cecile Brossard, 40, has served four years in preventive custody since confessing to shooting dead her long-time lover in a crime that rocked Geneva's staid financial circles.

"The court sentences Cecile Brossard to eight years and six months in prison for murder," Judge Alessandra Cambi said.

Brossard's defense team said it was "virtually certain" it would not appeal the sentencing that followed a one-week trial that revealed intimate details of the couple's tumultuous relationship. Under Swiss law, she could be granted conditional release in 17 months, at the end of 2010.

Stern, 50, was found dead on March 1, 2005, in his luxury Geneva flat littered with sex toys. Four bullets were lodged in his body which was dressed in a head-to-toe flesh-colored latex outfit from the previous night.

Brossard confessed to killing Stern with his own revolver following an argument over $1 million he put into her Swiss bank account, funds she had demanded as "proof of his love for her."

The artist testified that she shot her masked lover between the eyes after he told her: "One million dollars is a lot of money to pay for a whore." He was shot twice in the head and twice in the torso.