Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I moved to Two Rivers in November, 1980. That summer, my parents sent me to summer camp for the first time - Camp Sinawa, near Valders. While there, I met Scott for the first time. He was a pretty cool guy. He and I were pretty good pals for the week we spent. We were reunited the following summer as well.

Scott joined me at Clarke in 6th grade. He wasn't in my class though. We associated in different circles. But we remained friendly with one another. Scott was more with the smoker-type crowd. He was a troublemaker like I was as well.

Scott was a spit machine. He was one of those guys who loved to gob on anyone and everyone. It was pretty disgusting.

In 7th grade, Scott's locker was near mine. And again, we remained friendly for the most part - save for one incident. One day as he passed by me, he took his fist and slammed my open locker - which swung and bashed me near my temple. He started laughing like a maniac. I was actually slightly dazed. A huge welt began to form.

I'm not sure if Scott even made it to 8th grade. I know for sure that he wasn't in high school with me. Scott wasn't exactly the brightest of boys. He didn't seem like the kind of guy who wanted too much to do with school.

I ran into Scott once in awhile at the video store. He seemed nice enough. He wasn't a problem.

Scott has had some skirmishes with the law. He's had multiple battery charges. Scott has also apparently had some psychological issues, and allegedly has spent some time in an institution in Madison.

At some point in the mid-1990's, Scott moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. But eventually he came back to Wisconsin. Eventually he married a woman named Sandy. They divorced in 2003. I don't think they had any children together.

Scott then moved to Nevada and moved in with his father. An elderly man also lived in the home, renting out a room. Scott and the man didn't get along, and argued quite a bit. So one day, in a fit of rage, Scott killed him - with a hatchet, striking him 30 times.

We won't be seeing Scott at any reunions. The following is various articles detailing the incident, the arrest, the trial and the conviction.

May, 2005

FERNLEY—A Fernley man who had been in and out of group homes and in trouble with the law beginning in his teenage years has been bound over to stand trial in District Court on charges of murder with the use of a deadly weapon, a crime against an elderly person.

Now 35, Scott Eric LeCoque is charged to have murdered Wallace Phillips with a hatchet by striking him 30 times in the face, twice in the head and various times in the body at a home on Mary Lou Court on the Desert Lakes Golf Course on January 12 of this year.

Justice of the Peace Robert Bennett found probable cause to bind LeCoque over on those charges, and an arraignment was set for June 6 at 9:00 a.m. in the Third Judicial District

charges//from A1

Court in Yerington.

At a preliminary hearing last Tuesday in Fernley Justice Court, LeCoque’s mental health history, along with his relationship with housemate Phillips, were the subject of testimony.

PIt was reported that prior to moving to Fernley, LeCoque had been living at a mental health facility in Madison, Wisconsin, and he had been prescribed 3-4 drugs for his mental health condition.

Lyon County District Attorney Leon Aberasturi told the court the state and the defense agreed on two stipulations of facts: first, the cause of Phillips’ death was by multiple injuries to his head, neck and chest. Second, the characteristics of the wounds were consistent with a hatchet or dull-edged knife during blunt force trauma.

The stipulation of facts allowed the DA to present the case without calling upon certain expert witnesses to testify.

The central witness for both the state and the defense was the testimony of LeCoque’s father, Mark LeCoque, who lives at the Mary Lou Court home.

He told Aberasturi that he rented a room to Phillips three years ago and the 72-year-old man was a retired barber. Phillips moved into an upstairs bedroom that had its own bathroom.

The elder LeCoque further testified that before his son came to live with him in April 2004, his son told him he wanted to obtain a GED and get a job, but that he was seeking a place to live.

Scott LeCoque also moved into an upstairs bedroom but used the bathroom downstairs.

Mark LeCoque further testified the relationship between his son and Phillips was at times “uncivil.”

The day of the murder, Jan. 12, 2005, Mark LeCoque testified, began as a typical day, saying he got up at 5 a.m., cleaned up and got his lunch ready and logged on the Internet before heading to his job in Lovelock where he worked as the director of education at the Nevada State Prison.

On Jan. 12 at about 9:30 a.m., Mark LeCoque received a call from his son who told him there “was something greasy on Wally’s door handle.” Mark LeCoque told the court, “He (Scott) asked if we had rubber gloves so he could clean it. I said to leave it. I said it was Wally’s bathroom and to leave it alone.”

Once Scott LeCoque moved into the Mary Lou home, his father found cleaning jobs around the house for him to do, such as vacuuming and yard work.

On Jan. 12, Scott was told to clean the baseboards in the 2,500 square-foot, multi-level home.

Mark LeCoque testified his son called him at about 1:30 p.m. and said “he did something bad.”

He continued, “I asked him what he did and he said, ‘I hit Wally.’ I got excited and said, ‘You didn’t.’ I was flabbergasted. I asked where he (Phillips) was and he (Scott) said ‘he (Phillips) was in the bathroom’.”

Mark LeCoque then asked his son what he hit Phillips with and he told the court his son said “an axe.”

Mark LeCoque then testified he told his son to go downstairs and wait, then the elder LeCoque called the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.

Mark LeCoque further testified that once his son was in custody and at Lakes Crossing for a mental health evaluation, he visited his son. He told the court his son told him at Lakes Crossing, “They (Scott and Phillips) had words and he (Scott) got mad and went downstairs and got the hatchet. Wally started laughing at him and Scott said, ‘So you think it’s funny’.”

Scott LeCoque’s court-appointed attorney, Wayne Pederson, focused on his client’s mental health history. However Mark LeCoque did not recall specific diagnosis of Scott’s mental health condition.

Mark LeCoque told the defense his son was born premature in Foley Family Hospital in Wisconsin but that medical treatment was not necessary once he was taken home.

He did recall a teacher at East Side Elementary School in Two Rivers, WI, once told he and his wife that Scott needed extra help in reading.

Mark LeCoque further testified that Scott was first placed in a group home at the age of 15, but that Mark was by then divorced from Scott’s mother.

He continued his son went back to group homes when he was 16 years old and then he came to live with him.

At the age of 17, Scott had quit school and then got into trouble with the law by stealing money and stealing a car, Mark said. Scott, however, was never prosecuted for the offense, testified Mark LeCoque. Scott then moved to Virginia when he was about 19 or 20 and also got into a fight and was incarcerated, his father testified.

Pederson asked, “Before he came out here, did he discuss with you his mental health problems?”

Mark LeCoque answered by testifying Scott was at a mental health facility in Madison, WI and was taking 3-4 types of medications but that one was not working.

The elder LeCoque testified Phillips was civil to him but to other people and his son he was “not always civil.”

He further testified that Phillips had told him he heard voices in his head and when he went shopping he always thought people were “talking about” him.

The first incident between Scott LeCoque and Phillips took place when Scott moved the elderly Fernley man’s futon, the father testified.

Mark LeCoque testified Phillips wrote a letter to Scott about the incident and “made rude comments to Scott.”

He also told the court that Scott didn’t “bother him (Phillips),” and “He’d (Phillips) made rude comments to him (Scott). I told Wally, once, to leave Scott alone.”

When LCSO responded to the incident, LSCO Lt. Mike Lange found Scott LeCoque sitting in the dining room and he noted the suspect was not coherent and “not normal.”

Law enforcement found the severely-beaten body of Phillips inside his bathroom, testified LCSO Detective Lt. John Arndell.

Once a search warrant was obtained to search Scott LeCoque’s bedroom, LCSO detectives found a hatchet (camp axe), which was located along the side of a wall near the door.

Arndell also testified a trail of blood and bloody shoe imprints were found east of Phillip’s body, which led to Scott LeCoque’s bedroom.

Arndell told the court an autopsy revealed Phillips’ wounds were consistent with a hatchet.

May 27, 2005

YERINGTON - A judge determined a Fernley man will be tried in the ax killing of his elderly roommate, but the suspect may plead guilty to the charge before he goes before a jury.

Scott Eric Lecoque, 34, tried to plead to the charge of murder with the use of a deadly weapon, but the justice of the peace was unable to accept the plea and bound Lecoque over to district court following a day of testimony Tuesday, said Lyon County Prosecutor Leon Aberasturi.

According to court documents, Lecoque allegedly killed Wallace S. Phillips, 72, Jan. 12, "by means of repeatedly striking him in the head with an ax."

The two had allegedly argued prior to the killing.

Phillips lived at the Mary Lou Lane home for about three years, Lyon County Sheriff's Department Lt. John Arndell said. Lecoque, whose father owns the home, has
lived there since April.

Phillips' bloodied body was found in an upstairs bathroom. The elder Lecoque was not home at the time.

The son allegedly called his father following the killing and the father called authorities.

Lecoque was sitting calmly at the dining room table when police arrived, and he directed deputies to the body. A small hand ax, similar to a hatchet, was allegedly found in his bedroom.

He is being held in the Lyon County Jail.


During most of his three-day trial, Scott Eric Lecoque, 35, of Fernley sat motionless staring at the table before him as both the defense and prosecution presented witnesses, expert witnesses and various pieces of evidence related to the Jan. 12, 2005 hatchet slaying of his 72-year-old roommate Wallace Phillips.

Lecoque’s life prior to the incident had been anything but easy, according to several people called to testify in the case. Now, Lecoque faces life in prison without the possibility of parole (see other story) after being charged as perpetrator in the homicide.

Opening statements commenced Monday, Dec. 12 in the Third Judicial District Court in Yerington where District Court Judge Archie Blake presided over the case.

Both Defense Attorney Wayne Pederson and Lyon County District Attorney Leon Aberasturi, representing the State, said this was not a case of “whodunit.” Instead, it was more or less to determine whether or not Lecoque had committed the act premeditatedly and deliberately and in a sound state of mind.

According to official reports at the time, Lyon County Sheriff’s deputies discovered Phillips’ body, which appeared to have been bludgeoned to death with an ax (later found to be a hatchet). Aberasturi said the defendant had admitted to both his father and in psychiatric evaluations to committing the act upon Phillips’ person.

Overall, Lecoque lived with his father, Mark, at his residence in the Desert Lakes subdivision in Fernley. Phillips had been a boarder in the home for nearly three years. Mark Lecoque had allowed his son to relocate to his home in April 2004 from Wisconsin and tension between Phillips and Scott Lecoque was nearly immediate.

During Pederson’s opening statements, he said his client had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and had been found incompetent on more than one occasion. He had been in and out of medical facilities several times beginning in his teen years and had spent much of his life with his mother, Cindy Andrews. With this, his father did not necessarily realize the severity of Scott’s conditions or the necessity of proper medication.

Also, the defendant had spent time in shelters and on the street. During the penalty phase of the proceedings, Scott’s mother testified via speakerphone saying the defendant was born premature, had blamed himself for his parents’ divorce, was sexually molested via a babysitter and had lost a fiancé in an automobile accident, for which he also blamed himself.

“I only knew he was on medication,” Mark testified adding Scott always came across as concerned and responsible for refilling his prescriptions. Also, Mark said he was not fully aware of Scott’s medical history.

It was later found Scott had not been on his medication at the time of the incident.

During testimony, Dr. Ole Thienhaus, chairman of the Psychiatry Department of University of Nevada Reno who had evaluated Scott, said medication levels in the defendant’s blood was undetectable. Also, it was noted Scott’s medication had been reduced when he was seeking employment, as some of them caused drowsiness. Thienhaus said, as long as the patient is showing proper health, this is often allowed, as it prevents the patient from stopping treatment altogether. Also, pursuit of employment is a good sign of stable mental health, he added.

Several, including Thienhaus and the defendant’s father testified regarding problems between Scott and Phillips. Mark said he had told Scott not to bother Phillips’ belongings. With this, he noted Mark had already instructed Phillips had to search for another home, as Phillips’ age and mental health had begun to necessitate more of an assisted living style environment.

It was reiterated several times the defendant perceived Phillips to have made sexual advances on him and intentionally frighten children. Other statements indicated Phillips had made several unfavorable comments to both Scott and his half siblings. In fact, Mark later testified his other children often would not come to the house following some unfavorable comments from Phillips.

“I could tell he didn’t like to be around Wally,” Mark testified also noting he knew of no prior physical altercations between the two.

Mark said he had asked Scott to write down all things he perceived Phillips to be doing against his person, which Scott proceeded to do. This letter was presented during the trial. Mark said he was blunt in addressing these grievances to Phillips and requested he leave Scott alone. To this, Mark said his roommate’s response was, “No, tell him (Scott) to leave me alone.”

“The atmosphere must have been electric with antagonism,” Thienhaus said after evaluating Scott.

On the day of the incident both the defendant and victim were alone in the house. Based on Scott’s previous descriptions, testimony charged Phillips had told Scott he was his roommate. Scott then replied, “No, I’m not.” Further testimony indicated Phillips said Scott had given him a heart attack. At that point, Phillips proceeded upstairs and, shortly thereafter, Scott proceeded to the garage where he grabbed the hatchet. He then proceeded upstairs where he entered the bathroom where Phillips was present. Testimony indicated Phillips then laughed at Scott and the defendant then proceeded to strike the victim with the hatchet.

Pederson had argued his client had not performed the crime with aforethought, as he had stopped at some point and thought, “What have I done?” Also, Scott had proceeded to call his father, who was at work in Lovelock, and said he had hurt Phillips.

“Those aren’t actions of a deliberate person,” Pederson argued.

Thienhaus later noted Scott was of below average IQ and was found to have metabolites for marijuana in his system. With his bipolar disorder added as a third variable in this equation, Thienhaus said Scott was basically “a walking time bomb.”

Along with this, he said many exhibiting Scott’s qualities are poor historians and “Scott is no exception to that.”

During testimony, it was noted Scott perceived the entire incident on Jan. 12 to be nearly one minute. This was contested, as another witness from the Meals on Wheels program Toni Stowe had testified it took Phillips nearly ten minutes with a walker and cane to descend the staircase in the home on Jan. 11.

The incident began when Phillips had made a comment and went upstairs. With this, Stowe’s testimony makes the one-minute version from this point to that of the crime implausible. With this in mind, Thienhaus said only about a two-three minute time frame could be considered impulsive behavior for such a crime.

Also, Scott had previously told Thienhaus he had struck Phillips four or five times whereas an autopsy showed he had received between 34 and 40 wounds from the hatchet.

Thienhaus said Scott was likely in touch with reality when he performed the crime. This flew in the face of the previous “insanity” defense, as someone in touch with reality, and not delusional, would not fit the legal definition of “insane.”

Also, Thienhaus said it is unclear whether Scott intended to kill Phillips; however, it is certain he had intentions to hurt him.

“I hit him, I didn’t think I was going to hit him. I was so mad I didn’t realize I would end up hitting him because he wouldn’t leave me alone,” testified Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Tom Bittker said of his conversation with the defendant.

Bittker said Scott felt remorse and hit himself in the head and cried.

“He then went to the refrigerator and drank a couple of beers. He then called his dad and said he hurt Wally,” Bittker said.

Bittker said the defendant was not at the point of insanity because he “did not believe he had special powers, had no hallucinations, no voices telling him to do something.”

During Thursday’s penalty hearing, Phillips’ niece, Carol Miller testified saying she always looked upon Wallace as her “fun uncle.” Her communication with the former barber and security guard diminished quite a bit following childhood; however, she had last talked to him in December of last year.


December 30, 2005

A Fernley man was sentenced to life in prison for the January hatchet murder of his 72-year-old roommate.

A Lyon County jury, which listened to testimony for three days, deliberated for about four hours on Dec. 19 before finding Scott Eric Lecoque, 35, guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Wallace S. Phillips on Jan 12, 2005.

According to court documents, Lecoque killed Phillips by striking him with a hatchet 30 times on his head, neck and torso.

The two had argued prior to the killing. When deputies arrived, Lecoque directed them to Phillips' lifeless body at the top of the stairs.


December, 2005

A jury found a Fernley man guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday evening after a three-day trial in Third Judicial District Court in Yerington.

Scott Eric Lecoque, 35, was originally charged in January of this year following an incident involving the death of 72-year-old Wallace S. Phillips in a home within Desert Lakes subdivision in Fernley and had pleaded not guilty by insanity at his June 6 district court arraignment.

The jury went into deliberations at about 3 p.m., after closing arguments in which there was no question who committed the murder but simply a question of the degree of murder.

According to official reports of the incident, Lyon Sheriff’s deputies discovered Phillips’ body, which it was later determined had been bludgeoned to death with an ax, in a bathroom of the home.

The defendant was later found to be competent to proceed to trial. Lyon County District Attorney Leon Aberasturi determined the death penalty was not applicable in this case, as several necessary characteristics were not present.

During opening statements on Monday, both Aberasturi and defense attorney Wayne Pederson indicated this is not a case of whether Lecoque committed the act, but that the objective for the 12-member jury was to determine whether or not the act was premeditated and deliberate.

If so, a first-degree murder sentence could be imposed; whereas, if not, a second degree murder sentence was warranted.

As for potential penalties, first degree carries a sentence of life with or without parole while second degree would include life with parole following 10 years time served.

After reading the finding of guilty of murder in the first degree just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, the jury was to reconvene Thursday morning for the penalty phase to determine Lecoque’s sentence but came after this week’s edition had gone to press.

In testimony on Wednesday morning, state’s witness Dr. Ellen Clark, a pathologist with the Washoe County Coroner’s Officer, said in her opinion Phillips died as a result of multiple blunt force trauma injuries inflicted by an instrument consistent with an axe or hatchet.

She also testified Phillips sustained 40 wounds, including a dozen to his head and neck area and one deep enough to contact his pacemaker.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Tom Bittker testified the defendant acknowledged to him that he had been angry with Phillips on eight different occasions.

Bittker also testified that Lecoque told him he was sexually abused as a child and was enraged because he felt Phillips was making advances at him. He continued that Lecoque had said he cleaned out Phillips’ car a week prior to the incident, found a gray wig in the front seat, had “interpreted it as a wig child molesters use,” and became concerned that Phillips may be a child molester.

Bittker testified that that Lecoque admitted he struck Phillips and, feeling remorseful afterward, had also called his father and “said he hurt Wally.”

He also asserted that Lecoque “did not believe he had special powers, had no hallucinations (and) no voice telling him to do something” at the time; but likewise conceded, under questioning by Pederson, that Lecoque had not taken his medication that day.

Before leaving the courtroom at the end of the day Tuesday, Aberasturi said it was likely the original insanity portion of the plea would not stick following several expert witnesses whose testimonies indicated Lecoque was not legally insane at the time of the act.

Such testimonies included that of Dr. Ole Thienhaus, chairman of the Psychiatry Department at University of Nevada, Reno, who evaluated Lecoque following the incident and, in the defendant’s responses, found little to no support for the legal definition of ‘insanity.’

Among his statements, Thienhaus said the defendant likely knew right from wrong at the time of the incident and was not delusional. The legal definition of ‘insanity’ would have required the defendant to be delusional at the time.

During opening statements and Thienhaus’ testimony, it was stated Lecoque has been in and out of medical facilities several times since his teen years; and that among his stays, the defendant had been found to be incompetent at least twice. Each time, he was treated with medication and later released. Also, Lecoque had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, a condition for which he also had medication.

Several instances in the trial indicated Lecoque had not been on medication when the incident occurred.

During testimony on Monday, the defendant’s father, Mark Lecoque, said his son was not one to forget refills when it came to his medication.

However, Thienhaus said, at the time of the incident, medication levels in Scott’s blood were nearly undetectable. Also, in the same analysis, marijuana metabolites were found; and with these facts in mind, he said the defendant’s bipolar disorder, below-average IQ and use of controlled substance made the defendant more or less ‘a walking time bomb.’

Other testimony and various pieces of evidence showed a strained relationship between the defendant and the victim, who was renting a room at Lecoque’s father’s home in Fernley when Lecoque came to live with them in late 2004. It was noted several times others in the family had difficulty with Phillips’ personality as well.

Thienhaus noted “the atmosphere must have been electric with antagonism,” also indicating Lecoque believed Phillips had made inappropriate comments and advances on his person. Thienhaus said, based on the elder Lecoque’s testimony, on the day of the incident Phillips had told Lecoque he was his roommate, and Lecoque said he was not. At that point, Phillips reportedly told Lecoque he had given him a second heart attack and went upstairs; and shortly thereafter, Lecoque went the garage and picked up the hatchet and proceeded upstairs, where he it is charged he struck Phillips multiple times.

After deliberating over an hour-and-a-half, the jury returned to the courtroom and had this part of Thienhaus’ testimony re-read by the court reporter (with Lecoque not present).

Thienhaus testified he was not sure whether Scott had intentions to kill Phillips that day; however, he certainly had intentions to hurt him.

Lastly, Thienhaus noted Scott’s version of the timeline between Phillips’ comments and the incident did not match timelines based on other testimony. For example, it was previously noted Phillips took some time to move up and down the stairs in the home; however, Lecoque said it was about one minute between the comments and incident. Also, Lecoque reportedly believed he had hit Phillips only four or five times.

Thienhaus said many people with Lecoque’s conditions are poor historians when it comes to accurately remembering such incidents and “Scott is no exception to that.”

The jury’s verdict also included that the murder occurred with a deadly weapon and the crime occurred on a victim over the age of 60.


UPDATE - 9/6/06 - Scott is currently incarcerated in Nevada. If anyone cares to write to him, you can do so at:

PO BOX 1989

I must give you a warning though. My wife once decided to become penpals with a few inmates - more out of curiosity than anything else. Just know this. While Scott may be delighted to hear from someone from his past, it is possible that he might pass your name and address on to another inmate - who might also write to you out of the blue, whether you like it or not. It happened to my wife. About a year after she had stopped writing to someone, she began to get letters from multiple inmates at the same facility. Therefore, I highly suggest that if you choose to write to Scott, you get yourself a PO Box. It's just an extra level of protection. You never know what could happen. Prisoners are seasoned conmen. They're also super horny. It's just better to be safe than sorry.

UPDATE - 9/18/06 - I have now received Scott's mugshot. It was taken 1/12/05 at 10:07 PM - about nine hours after he murdered the man. I'm stunned by this picture. There is something incredibly sad about it. As I was going through the necessary steps to obtain this photo, I ended up speaking to the sheriff of Lyon County, Nevada - where the arrest took place. He sighed and said, "This was a tragic case."


At Tue May 09, 10:29:00 AM PDT, Blogger the_meff said...

That's some mighty intense shit.

For myself, I always got on okay with the guy. I, like anyone within a fifty foot radius, was a typical target for his spit-cannon. (The guy was good...he'd gob onto the tip of his pencil and then fling it. His aim was impeccable.)

Tragic story. From my perspective, he was smarter than your average miscreant.

At Tue May 09, 04:47:00 PM PDT, Blogger jenny said...

this saddens me so much. i remember scott as a good friend. He and i shared a "neighborly" respectful relationship, our lockers were next to eachother. like jeff said, very tragic. my heart goes out to him, his family and the victim's family/friends

At Thu May 11, 06:08:00 AM PDT, Blogger apeman said...

Holy Shit!!!! I'm speechless after reading that. I never heard about it. I knew Scott way back in gradeschool. He was a super-fast runner in gym class. We got along great back then. He was a fellow troublemaker no doubt.
The last time I saw him was for my 18th b-day. What a messed up turn his life took.

At Thu May 11, 09:57:00 AM PDT, Blogger moptopjen said...

wow. i haven't been around the site for awhile and i see this...
i also so sad to hear this. scott was my 1st "boyfriend" back in 4th and 5th grade. he, lisa pauze, & i hung with bj & jimmy etc (and the guy with curly hair - louis?). then he & i would bump into each other once every few years, and he was always really dragging - clearly affected, mentally and intellectually, by too many infortunate decisions over the years. but at the same time, he always seemed wistful for some kind of peace. i have wondered about him over the years, hoping all was well. i'm with jenny - my heart's out to all involved.

At Wed Feb 28, 05:23:00 PM PST, Blogger Da BoMb!!!! said...

That is some scary shit rite there, dont you think???? well ya i feel really bad cuz..... I'M HIS YOUNGER SISTER.....! I will probably never see him again... :( and if i do it will probably be through glass. It seems really scary because the day before that i was hanging out with him and stuff.... ya i miss him A LOT!!! This was truly a tragedy that was waiting to happen.... I will always miss and love him!!!<3<3<3
P.S I am on my friends account....

At Thu Mar 01, 05:18:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Ms. Bomb:

I hope you continue to visit your brother and have compassion for him. He definitely needs you, and I'm sure it means a lot for him to see you.

Good luck!


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