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On trial for the murder of Alexia, Jonathann Daval apologizes: “It’s not excusable what I did”

the essential
The day was intense at the trial of Jonathann Daval before the Vesoul Assize Court. The accused, on trial for the murder of his wife Alexia, apologized and had to face his ex-in-laws.

Jonathann Daval, tried before the Assize Court of Haute-Saône for the murder of his wife Alexia in 2017, presented his “apologies” this Wednesday evening, adding immediately that what he had done was “not excusable “. “It may not be suitable, but I would like to apologize first, even if it’s not excusable what I did,” said Jonathann Daval, 36, his voice choked with emotion. . “I took their daughter away from them, I lied to them,” he added to Alexia’s parents, who had previously urged him to tell the “truth”.

In the afternoon, Alexia’s mother, Isabelle Fouillot, took the floor and warned that she intended “to defend the memory of her daughter”, calling on Jonathann Daval to be “a man” and to speak “the truth. “. “I am here for Alexia, to defend her memory. Three years have passed (since her death, editor’s note), (…) she is missed every day”, she declared at the bar, the voice broken by emotion.

Defense lawyers tried to instill the idea that “it was Alexia’s fault” but “they didn’t know Alexia” who “was anything but overwhelming,” Isabelle Fouillot continued. “I am here to restore the person she was,” she added, before reading a card written by her daughter to Jonathann Daval, in which she speaks of the accused as “an atypical being, as nice as a devil “.

Jonathann Daval in tears at the helm

“You represent my friend, my lover, my confidant (…) You are essential for me to make my land turn”, wrote the young woman, whose lifeless body was found on October 30, 2017 in a wood in Haute -Saône. “These are the words of an aggressive person, who has fits of hysteria?” Asked Ms. Fouillot, while her son-in-law burst into tears upon reading the letter.

“You destroyed everything, this is where the lie leads”, she again launched to the accused before urging him: “You alone can tell us (the truth)” even if, after all of the accused’s twists and turns during the trial, “I don’t know if I could believe (Jonathann), every word that comes out of his mouth I’m afraid it’s a lie.” “I would like, for once, you to be a man in your life and that you take your responsibilities”, she hammered.

Talking about the possibility of a divorce, Isabelle Fouillot continued: “I think you did not want to. Because you were losing us, all the love that we had brought you”. And to assent about Alexia’s thwarted desire for a child: “You didn’t want a child, because the child is you”.

Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Fouillot, parents of Alexia Daval.

Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Fouillot, parents of Alexia Daval.
AFP Photo

The father calls for “the maximum penalty”

In the morning, Alexia’s father, Jean-Pierre Fouillot, spoke before the Assize Court. He called for “the maximum penalty”. “I just hope that the maximum sentence is granted,” he said in a strong testimony at the bar. “Our future, it is simple, we took perpetuity. Will this be the case of Jonathann, it is you who will decide”, he launched at the Court. “This famous day has turned off the light of happiness and serenity. We are now in sleep mode”, he added.

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“This is a massacre we are talking about”

And to wonder again while addressing the accused who was fleeing his gaze: “Why was Alexia murdered, for an argument, a refused sexual relation and perhaps to want to leave you, Jonathann? this tragedy, happiness reigned within our family “but Jonathann” broke it “, added Jean-Pierre Fouillot, 64, dressed in a green velvet jacket, his voice sometimes altered by sobs.

“He sullied us” by accusing his brother-in-law of a conspiracy and of being the murderer, he again blurted out. “Alexia was a very simple girl, but all that is most loving (…) it was an immense happiness during all these years”, he added , deploring that the defense seeks to also “dirty” the memory of Alexia by presenting her as a domineering personality who would have humiliated her husband. “It’s an assassination, it’s a massacre we’re talking about,” said Jean-Pierre Fouillot, while the civil parties suspect Jonathann of having premeditated the murder.

Alexia Daval's father, Jean-Pierre Fouillot (left), alongside Gilles-Jean Portejoie, the victim's family lawyer.

Alexia Daval’s father, Jean-Pierre Fouillot (left), alongside Gilles-Jean Portejoie, the victim’s family lawyer.
AFP – SEBASTIEN BOZON

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Jonathann Daval claims to have killed his wife Alexia alone

“We supported Jonathann”

At the end, the president of the court Matthieu Husson praised the “dignity” of these words which he summed up by “ten years of happiness with Alexia, three years of unhappiness” since the murder. Then the Assize Court froze in a cathedral silence when Jean-Pierre Fouillot recalled that at the end of the hearing where his wife had extracted new confessions from Jonathann, he had taken it and his wife in his arms.

“We supported Jonathann”, “we cherished him even more than usual” and he “cried with us over the drama (…) of which he had all the keys”, he continued. “I have a weakness, me, I am sentimental (…) Should we regret it?”, He wondered again, remembering having said to his son-in-law at the end of the reconstitution, in June 2019: “Know that I still love you”.

But now, “I feel guilty for having had those words. At the present time, I would be far from saying the same thing to him again (…) Over the months, I have realized the monstrosity of things “, he concluded, noting the emotional break with his former son-in-law.

Seven versions of Alexia’s death

Jonathann Daval, who had played the tearful widowers for three months before being arrested, delivered during the investigation no less than seven versions of the death of his wife. He had confessed to the murder before retracting and inventing a family plot, to finally recognize again the murder of his wife, committed according to him during a marital dispute. The 36-year-old computer scientist, who also admitted to having partly burnt the body of his wife, maintains that he never wanted to kill her.

The stake is double this Wednesday for the accused: in addition to this confrontation with his former in-laws, he will have to answer an interrogation which promises to be very difficult. What will come of it? Jonathann had “a mode of operation based on lies”, admitted one of his lawyers, Me Randall Schwerdorffer, well aware that “the only possibility” for his client “to have a fair trial” is henceforth “to be genuine and sincere”. He “owes it to his family” and “to Alexia’s family”.

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