The dramatic gesture came at the end of a high-profile trial into one of France's bigger cold cases: the 2002 killing of Elodie Kulik, a young woman. DNA evidence later led police to Willy Bardon, who was convicted Friday.
French journalists inside the courtroom described seeing Bardon swallow an unidentified pill in the defendant's box. One of his lawyers told Europe-1 radio on Saturday that his client was desperate and convinced of his innocence.
The Amiens prosecutor said the pill contained pesticide, according to French media. An investigation was opened into how he obtained the pill.