French rock singer Bertrand Cantat has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a tribunal in Vilnius, Lithuania. Cantat was found guilty of homicide stemming from the death of his actress girlfriend Marie Trintignant in summer 2003.
Cantat had faced a sentence of between five and 15 years. Last week, the prosecution had asked for a prison sentence of nine years to be imposed.
According to Lithuanian law, both the defendants and the prosecution have 20 days to appeal the sentence. Cantat’s lawyer Olivier Metzner said that it was likely that an appeal would be lodged.
On July 27, 2003, Trintignant was found unconscious in the hotel room she shared with Cantat. She died in a hospital five days later as a result of head wounds. Trintignant, 41, was a mother of four children.
During the trial, Cantat admitted he hit his companion four times during a violent argument. He expressed regret for the events and asked Trintigant’s family for forgiveness.
Cantat is the lead singer of Noir Desir, one of France’s most popular rock acts, signed to Universal Music France label Barclay. The rest of the band have so far refused to discuss the future of the group.