Jonathann Daval reaffirmed Monday that he was the author of the murder in 2017 of his wife Alexia, at the opening of his trial before the assizes of Haute-Saône where the civil parties suspect him of having raped his wife, a thesis however never accepted by instruction.
Invited at the end of the morning by the president of the Assize Court Matthieu Husson to say if he confirmed to be “the only one involved in the death of (his) wife”, the 36-year-old computer scientist, who had multiplied the versions during the ‘investigation, replied soberly “yes”, eyes red and on the verge of tears.
“You must not be judged differently because this case has had a particular impact,” President Husson told the accused. “Forget the media coverage,” he urged, while more than forty media are accredited.
In the early evening, during the screening of photos of his wife’s body taken during her discovery, the accused remained prostrate for long minutes in his cubicle, so as not to see the particularly harsh pictures of the corpse.
– “Disappeared in his box” –
“He failed to cope with the horror that he himself caused. He disappeared without his box,” noted Stéphanie Gay, Alexia’s sister.
Several civil parties, including Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Fouillot, Alexia’s parents, also left the sitting room, where white crosses on the benches recall the health constraints in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Throwing a few glances at his family and those close to Alexia, the thirty-something, tried for “murder on a spouse” and who faces life imprisonment, appeared shortly after 9:00 am in the accused’s box, visibly thinner.
“Jonathann was an always calm child” who “lived in his bubble,” said his mother, Martine Henry, who came to testify at the bar in a wheelchair and who must be heard again Thursday.
She begged her son to “tell the truth”.
The first pass of arms between the lawyers did not take long, when those of the civil party evoked a possible premeditation and a hypothetical rape of the victim, two points that the investigation did not however retain.
“I think there was a sexual relationship after the death of Alexia”, advanced Mr. Gilles-Jean Portejoie, recalling in particular the presence “in the vagina of Alexia” as well as on her panties and her shorts “of jonathann’s sperm “.
– “Scarecrows” –
Charges that made the defense lawyers jump: “no additional investigation into an ante or post mortem rape”, not found by the autopsy, was requested by the civil party during the investigation, swept Mr. Randall Schwerdorffer.
“We wave scarecrows, like the thesis of poisoning and premeditation!”, Of which Jonathann is not accused either, was annoyed Me Samuel Estève.
Jonathann “told us a truth which is his but which is not the truth”, estimated Alexia’s father, Jean-Pierre Fouillot. According to his wife Isabelle, the defense is in “denial”.
“I’m going to ask him questions (Tuesday), ask him the why of all this horror,” she said.
Her husband also intends to speak to Jonathann.
The case, which occurred in the fall of 2017, had deeply marked the spirits, in full wave #MeeToo.
– Sexual intercourse refused –
On October 30, the partially charred body of Alexia Daval, a 29-year-old bank employee, was found under branches, in a wood a few kilometers from the Davals’ home in Gray-la-Ville (Haute-Saône).
It was her husband, Jonathann, who had reported her missing two days earlier.
The following days, the face bathed in tears of the thirty-something appeared in the media.
But in January 2018, the grieving widower was arrested and confessed to the murder of his wife, which he said occurred during a violent argument.
Two years of investigation will follow during which Jonathann will deliver several versions, retracting, then accusing his brother-in-law, before acknowledging the murder again during a shocking hearing before the investigating judge.
In June 2019, he finally confessed during the reconstitution to have set Alexia’s remains on fire.
On the evening of the murder, Jonathann said he refused to have sex with his wife who, in return, would have been violent, accusing her of “not being a man”.
Alexia “humiliated her”, maintained during the investigation the accused, who says to have “strangled” and “hit her so that she is silent”, but without wanting to kill her.
“I don’t want this to be Alexia’s trial,” warned Ms. Fouillot.
The verdict is expected Friday.