Augustin Vlaicu, the man who 6 years ago killed, out of jealousy, a 27-year-old man, was convicted by the court of first instance. One week ago, the Bistrița-Năsăud Tribunal handed down the sentence: 10 years and 6 months in prison, plus the payment of 80,000 lei moral damages for the victim’s mother, siblings.
The facts came to light five years after the crime was committed, when a man learned the story from the murderer himself, and then told the law enforcement. Vlaicu was charged with murder and arrested on remand, being behind bars even today.
The trial took place very quickly, Vlaicu being sent to trial, in a state of pre-trial detention, by prosecutors from the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Bistrița-Năsăud Tribunal in May this year, judgment on the merits beginning in August, after the preliminary chamber stage was completed, the process taking place over only four deadlines, and in the fifth instance he ruled.
Fact committed in the fall of 2014
Investigators determined that the murder took place around September 17, 2014, in the place called „Gardinuta. The victim’s lifeless body was discovered only three weeks later, on 7 October 2014.
Following the forensic examination of the body and the autopsy, it was not possible to determine the cause and date of death, so that the prosecutors ordered, at that time, the case to be closed.
Later, as Vlaicu kept boasting here and there about his deed, towards the end of September 2020, following an anonymous denunciation, investigators have launched an investigation into the crime of murder.
A number of indirect witnesses were heard in the case who provided two different versions of the murder. One version indicated that Vlaicu’s concubine was also guilty of murder, according to statements given by most of the defendant’s relatives, including his two daughters, who at the time of the murder were about 5 years old and were direct witnesses. Only one of his brothers took Vlaicu’s concubine out of the equation. His statement coincided with other statements, but also with the evidence administered in question.
In addition, investigators monitored Vlaicu’s conversations and discovered after a telephone discussion with his sister that his daughters had been instructed to declare to investigators, so that it appears that their mother is guilty of murder. This is although initially Vlaicu in his first statements as a suspect, and then as a defendant he acknowledged his actions.
Prosecutors learned that the victim actually tried to protect Vlaicu’s concubine from him when he tried to hit her after finding out that she had tried to cheat on him. That’s how the two men got on the map, and Vlaicu went to the cart and took a metal bar with which he began to hit the victim until he left her unconscious and full of blood. During all this time, the woman tried to intervene between the two, but was hit by Vlaicu and so she was left with a scar in the lumbar area.
After seeing that the young man he hit is in agony, Vlaicu got scared, so he took his daughters and concubine and headed home. The woman tried to talk about what happened to him, but Vlaicu threatened her that if she talked to someone about what had happened, she would declare that she also participated in the crime.
He admitted the crime and received a reduction in the sentence
When he arrived in court, Vlaicu realized that he was waiting for years in prison, so he thought it was more useful to put lies aside and admit their deeds, given that all the evidence indicated him as the perpetrator of the crime.
As a result, the court, finding that the statements of the witnesses are corroborated with that of the defendant and the evidence in the file, sentenced Vlaicu to 10 years and 6 months in prison.
“When individualizing the main punishment and the manner of execution, the court considered, according to the prev. art. 74 Criminal code, the concrete social danger of the deed, considered to be serious in terms of the way of committing and its consequences – the application by the defendant, amid alcohol consumption and jealousy, multiple blows to the victim with a metal bar from the cart, followed by its abandonment in serious condition, full of blood and moaning, on a pasture; the nature and gravity of the result produced – the aggressions exercised by the defendant ultimately leading to the death of the victim; conduct after the crime – the defendant understanding not to declare anything to the police until after the anonymous report, therefore for about 6 years; the sincere, correct procedural position, finally expressed by the defendant, both towards the end of the criminal investigation, was considered on the other hand, both towards the end of the criminal investigation, as well as before the court, falling within the limits of punishment provided by the Criminal Code for the crime of murder, of 10-20 years, reduced by 1/3 following the recognition of guilt and the application of the simplified procedure in question.
For all of the above, seeing that the defendant is not in first contact with the criminal law, but has not known previous convictions for similar acts, the court considers that the sentence of 10 years and 6 months imprisonment, placed somewhere in the middle of the new penalty interval (obtained after the one-third reduction), but directed more to the maximum and further from the minimum – since by his deed the defendant infringed the fundamental social value of the most important, namely the life of the so-called XXX, is the one able to ensure the purpose of the punishment in question, the prevention of committing new crimes, the correction of the defendant’s attitude towards committing crimes and its future positive resocialization „, says the Bistrița-Năsăud Tribunal, in the motivation of the sentence.
Forced to pay moral damages
At the same time, Augustin Vlaicu is obliged by the court to pay to the two brothers of the victim, his mother, but also his sister, who constituted civil parties in question, 20,000 lei moral damages each.
„In order to decide in this way, the court started from the motivated requests for civil party constitution filed in the criminal trial by defender elected by A.A., the brother of the deceased, which was constituted as a civil party in question with the amount of 20,000 lei representing moral damages (…); by A.B., the mother of the victim, who subsequently submitted a reasoned memorandum to the beginning of the trial, to maintain the civil party constitution carried out during the criminal investigation against the defendant with the amount of 20,000 lei, representing moral damages (…); by A.C., the sister of the deceased, who also formulated a request for incorporation as a civil party with the amount of 20,000 lei representing moral damages (…), as well as the victim’s brother, A.D. (…), all these requests showing that the relatives close to the victim were affected by the disappearance of the son and brother respectively in the conditions resulting from the research, the civil parties (…) showing that a special emotional impact had on them the moment when they were called to identify their brother, whose body was in an advanced state of putrefaction. As there are no legal and absolute criteria for quantifying the non-pecuniary damage suffered by civil parties, the negative consequences suffered by those concerned mentally must be taken into account when determining the amount, the importance of the damaged values, the measure of their injury, the intensity of the emotional connection deduced from the degree of kinship, the previously had relationships, the way in which the absence of the deceased in the life of the remaining relatives is reflected, the monetary evaluation being an approximate one, based on consequences of equity. The size of the trauma of the disappearance of the son, as well as of the brother, in tragic conditions, finding only his rotting body, cannot be rendered in numbers, but on the basis of the legal texts of the Civil Code governing tortious civil liability and judicial practice in this matter, the court is obliged to determine the amount of non-pecuniary damage due to the victim’s mother, siblings and sister, this assessment must, on the one hand, not be purely subjective and, on the other hand, not tend to be unjustly enriched, the reasonable moral sufferings that could reasonably have been caused by the defendant’s act must be taken into account.
The guilt of the defendant being fully proved, the court appreciates the amount of moral damages requested by the civil parties, of 20,000 lei, as a reasonable one, by reference to the degree close to kinship of the civil parties with the deceased, all the more so in the case of the mother, a person who gave life to the victim, as well as to the brothers called to identify the body of the deceased person, the award of the moral damages requested in this amount being fully justified, without constituting, on the other hand, an unjust enrichment, the defendant himself agreeing to pay them on the deadline of 06.10.2022, but in a much lower amount, of 10,000 lei each, an amount that the court considers insufficient. The court considers in other words that the full admission of civil party constitutions represents a fair repair of the moral damage caused, the amount of 20,000 lei each being a reasonable one, the granting of moral damages in this amount being fully justified, without constituting an enrichment without just cause „, the court specified in the statement of reasons.