The Petah Tikva District Court yesterday found Ronny Ron guilty of murder in the 2008 killing of Ron's 4-year-old granddaughter Rose Pizam. The court also found his domestic partner, Marie Renault Pizam, who is the girl's mother, guilty of soliciting the murder. Due to a lack of sufficient evidence, however, the judges acquitted her of murdering Rose. The prosecution has asked for the court to sentence the two defendants to life in prison.

The body of Rose Pizam, whose father, Ron's son, had divorced Marie Pizam, was found in a suitcase that investigators found in the Yarkon River in Tel Aviv after Ron admitted to disposing of the body in the river. He acknowledged striking Rose in anger, but denied any intention to kill her.

The judicial panel, which was headed by Judge Avraham Tal, stated in the verdict in the case that Ron had tried to have the girl, who was living with Ron and Marie Pizam, removed from the household at the request of Pizam. When these efforts failed, the judges said Ron "came to a decision to solve the 'Rose problem' once and for all and cause her death."

Tal ruled that the killing was not a spontaneous act, but was planned in advance, as evidenced by a finding that he obtained a large suitcase in which he placed Rose, either alive or dead, and threw her into the Yarkon. The judge also rejected Ron's account that Rose died after the grandfather struck the girl while she was riding in the car with him. Even if that was the case, however, the judge ruled that the blow was not delivered by mistake and without the intention to kill Rose, saying that Ron's subsequent conduct reflected an intent to kill the girl, noting that he did not attempt to resuscitate her or get medical care for her.

The judge also rejected the claim of the girl's mother that she only learned about the plan to kill Rose after the fact. "We were not convinced that [Marie Pizam] took part in the murder of Rose," Tal stated, but added: "[Marie Pizam's] acts and statements lead to the sole rational conclusion that she solicited [Ronny Ron] to permanently get rid of Rose, and on an illegal basis, after no setting outside the household was found for her, [and] anticipating the possibility that he would get rid of Rose by killing her, she wanted this outcome, even if as a last resort, and even if she didn't take part in committing the acts and didn't plan how they would be carried out."

Ron's lawyer said he would appeal the murder conviction while Marie Pizam's attorney said she would ask the court to impose a reduced sentence due to her client's mental state.