Murder trial halted after most wanted criminal commits suicide in cell
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Murder trial halted after most wanted criminal commits suicide in cell

Beaumont shot Josée Widdershoven, a retired kindergarten teacher, five times with a .22 calibre rifle. Credit: © Belga

The murder trial of a recaptured most wanted fugitive was suspended after the suspect was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide on Wednesday.

Officials sources confirmed that Lei Beaumont, who was standing trial for the 2009 murder of his wife, had died on Wednesday.

Beaumont is accused of having shot his wife, 64-year-old Josée Widdershoven, five times in the upper body and head using a .22 calibre rifle, according to De Standaard.

After the events, Beaumont fled the country and was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia.

Following his first conviction, he was placed on Belgium’s list of most wanted criminals and was found and arrested on May 2019 in the Spanish resort town of Calpe.

Following his return to Belgium, he reportedly appealed his conviction and his case was referred to an assise court.

Widdershoven, a retired kindergarten teacher, was found dead by the couple’s daughter, who gave an emotional address to the court on Tuesday and had said that her father had committed “the perfect murder,” according to HLN.

Following news of his death, public prosecutors are expected to comment on the trial in the course of the day.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

For any questions about suicide, you can contact the Suicide Line anonymously on the toll-free number 1813 or at in Dutch, at 0800 32 123 in French, or at 02 648 40 14 in English.