Babis Anagnostopoulos, who confessed to the murder of his wife Caroline Crouch, was led under tight security — and amid heckling comments from onlookers — on Tuesday to a Greek Court to testify in the case.
Handcuffed and wearing a bulletproof jacket, Anagnostopoulos was arraigned at the Athens Courthouse on one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of intentionally killing an animal.
Anagnostopoulos confessed last week to killing his young wife in the Athens suburb of Glyka Nera on May 11.
Women’s groups gathered outside the court at Evelpidon calling for the term “femicide,” known in Greek as “gynaikotonia,” to be acknowledged by the state as a distinct crime. The Hellenic Network for Feminists stated on their Facebook page that the murder confirmed again that men commit femicide to control and own women.
A coroner’s report suggests Crouch had been sleeping when she was suffocated for six minutes in an upstairs bedroom.
In his deposition to an investigating magistrate the confessed killer will recount his version of the events that resulted in the death by asphyxiation.
One of the two lawyers defending the 33-year-old helicopter pilot resigned from the case on Tuesday.
“I no longer want to be involved with the defense of this case, in any respect, for personal reasons,” Vassilis Spyrou said in a public resignation letter hours before the suspect was due to testify.
Police sent on wild goose chase after Crouch murder
Initially, Anagnostopoulos, a helicopter pilot, led the police on a wild goose chase, with a fabricated story of a gang of armed, foreign men breaking into the couple’s home in the Athens suburb of Glyka Nera to supposedly rob them of cash and jewelry.
Anagnostopoulos told police that they had tied up the couple separately and eventually strangled Crouch, with the baby present at her side.
After 40 days, forensic evidence retrieved from smart phones and smart watches owned by the victim and her husband told another story, which was wildly inconsistent with the pilot’s account.
He has since claimed that he killed Crouch while trying to prevent her from hurting herself and their baby girl and staged the scene to look like a burglary gone wrong, while later admitting that he killed the 20-year-old in her sleep because she had threatened to leave him.
The Greek police have prepared a 26-page transcript to present to prosecutors as evidence for Crouch’s murder which includes extended excerpts from her diary, accessed by the media on Friday.
Custody of little Lydia
Tuesday is also expected to bring a decision on which of the two sets of grandparents are to have custody of Lydia, the 1-year-old child who had been placed by Anagnostopoulos near her mother’s dead body when police arrived at the scene of the murder.
Crouch’s father, David, told the Daily Mail : “Both Susan and I will spend the rest of our lives making sure that justice is done and ensuring that her little daughter is brought up with all the advantages that we can give her and that the memories of her mother live forever.”