(photo credit: INIMAGE)
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the grandfather’s appeal and increased the sentence of the mother in their shocking murder of four-year-old Rose Pizem in 2008.
The grandfather, Ronnie Ron, was appealing his 2011 murder conviction in the hope of reducing it to manslaughter.
He changed his narrative to admitting having hit Rose, but not with intent to murder.
The mother, Marie Pizem, had been acquitted of murder, but convicted of incitement to murder and sentenced to life in prison on the lesser charge. She appealed her conviction claiming she had no knowledge of the murder until after it occurred.
The court rejected both arguments and then went a step further, convicting Pizem of murdering Rose along with Ron, despite her acquittal by a lower court.
The Supreme Court justices ruled that, even if Ron physically committed the murder, Pizem had gone beyond mere solicitation of the crime.
The court noted that Ron was heavily emotionally dependent on Pizem and that she had written letters to pressure him to commit the murder.
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The justices note further that, in view of Rose’s young age, Marie was one of the few people who could either save her or place her into Ron’s hands to be killed.
Moreover, Pizem was taped by police talking to Ron while at the police station, seemingly tutoring him on the details of what had happened to Rose when she was killed and to her body afterward.
The court found that her involvement was sufficient to meet the legal test for an active accomplice to murder.
Both Ron and Pizem declined to make a statement to the court before hearing the sentence, and neither showed any emotion upon hearing the justices’ decision. They had stuffed Rose’s body in a suitcase and dumped it into the Yarkon River.
Her murder first came to light in September 2008, after her disappearance was initially treated as a missing child case. Shortly afterward suspicion fell on Ron and eventually on Pizem as well.
Rose Pizem was the child of Marie and Ben Pizem. She was born in France in 2004 and lived there until the age of three. During a family visit in Israel, Pizem fell in love with Ben’s father, Ronnie Ron, and told her husband she planned to stay in Israel with Ron, leaving Rose in her father’s care in France.
After Marie moved in with Ron and had two other daughters with him, she pleaded for him to bring Rose from France, where she was in the care of a welfare agency.
Rose’s arrival, however, brought no joy to Pizem and she soon regretted having brought her. The little girl spent most of her time in Israel with her great-grandmother, Vivian, (Ron’s mother), who eventually insisted that Rose move back with her mother. The court determined that Pizem considered Rose a burden and was willing to do anything to get her out of her life.
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