The eagerly awaited trial of Jonathann Daval, a 36-year-old computer scientist on trial for the murder of his wife Alexia in 2017, opened on Monday before the Haute-Saône assize court in Vesoul. Tried for “murder on a spouse”, he risks life imprisonment.
Even his lawyer doubted it, but Jonathann Daval finally delivered Thursday before the assizes of Haute-Saône the terrifying story of the murder of his wife Alexia, with this final confession: he did “give death” voluntarily to his wife.
The 36-year-old accused has so far claimed not to have intentionally killed her. But Thursday afternoon, his voice choked with emotion, he no longer shied away, pushed to his limits by the president of the court Matthieu Husson.
“So is it the death you wanted?”, asks the president. “Yes”, loose Jonathann who faces life imprisonment for this “murder on spouse” now fully assumed. “I gave him death, yes, when you strangle someone like that, it is to kill”, he admits again in the icy silence of the courtroom.
“He is not trying to mitigate his responsibility”, assure his lawyer, Me Randall Schwerdorffer, “he said everything (…) He recognized the homicidal intention. What more do we want? “
I grabbed her by the neck, I squeezed
“At least on that we have taken a step forward”, echoed Me Caty Richard, one of the lawyers for the civil parties. “He said twice: ‘yes I wanted to kill her, yes of course I wanted to kill her'”.
But for Alexia’s mother, Isabelle Fouillot, the truth remains “incomplete”, it lacks “the reason, the why” Continuing the story of his crime, Jonathann Daval continued: It is “the anger of all these years which has emerged (…) Hence the strangulation for it to be silent”.
“The blows were quick and it started on the strangulation, I grabbed her by the neck, I tightened, the time, we estimated it at 4 minutes, but I cannot estimate the time for you” .
The triggering factor? An argument after a sexual intercourse refused to Alexia who would have “still” reproached him for “not being a man”. He would have felt “humiliated” knowing that he could not “fill” his wife because of her severe impotence problems. Then the young woman would have bitten him, causing his “rage”: “that put me beside myself (…) I made pressure cooker”.
He describes the events that occurred on the evening of the drama
“I hit her head twice against the wall before hitting her. Before I dared not admit that I had done that … I never fought”, adds Jonathann Daval.
The accused whom Alexia’s parents had been imploring from the start of the trial to tell “the whole truth”, explains having deposited his wife’s body in the trunk of his car before driving him the next day into the wood where he will be found October 30, 2017. He admits, stammering, in tears, having dragged it like “a vulgar sack of potatoes”, an act “disgusting …”
Jonathann covers his wife’s body with a sheet, “so that she doesn’t get cold”. Then he tries to ignite it with an aerosol spray, but only a few parts will burn. “I left as soon as I set the fire”, he said.
He then goes to the gendarmerie to report the disappearance of his wife during an alleged jogging. Then he will play for three months the grieving widowers until his arrest and his first confession, retracts, multiplies the versions, going so far as to accuse his brother-in-law Grégory Gay of being the murderer to finally confess again.
At the hearing, the lawyers for the civil parties tried to confront him with his contradictions. “Like the civil parties, I do not believe that Alexia Daval asked you for a sexual relationship”, argued Advocate General Emmanuel Dupic.
Did he rape his wife as also claimed by the civil parties? Daval categorically denies.
Wednesday evening, the frail thirty-something had presented an “apology” to the parents of Alexia for having “taken their daughter”. The murder is “not excusable”, he admitted. But his interrogation, which had barely started, was interrupted by a vagal discomfort which had led him to the Vesoul hospital where he spent the night.
When the trial resumes, Thursday morning, experts described a “chameleon personality”, “immature” and capable of “uncontrolled” reactions.
Faced with the significant delays in the trial, the verdict, initially scheduled for Friday, could take place “overnight from Saturday to Sunday,” said Gilles-Jean Portejoie, lawyer for Alexia’s parents.