Frenchman who confessed to beating wife to death, then burning her body sentenced to 25 years in prison

Muri Assunção, New York Daily News

A French court sentenced a 36-year-old man to 25 years behind bars on Saturday for the 2017 killing of his wife.

In late October 2017, Jonathann Daval contacted authorities to report his wife missing.

He told police that Alexia Daval, a 29-year-old banker, had gone out for a run, but never returned home.

Her body was found two days later in the woods near Gray, a town in the northeastern French region of Haute-Saone.

The case gained national attention in France at the time, prompting a number of marches and memorials in her honor.

In November 2017, some 10,000 people gathered in Gray, a small town of about 5,000 residents, in a silent march in her memory.

Her death turned into an example of violence against women in France, as the global #MeToo movement began to grow around the world.

Daval was one of the speakers at the event. He appeared distraught and in tears while reading a tribute to his wife, The Associated Press reported at the time.

About three months after the murder, prosecutors said that Daval confessed to beating his wife to death, and then burning her body.

According to The Guardian, on Saturday Daval was impassive as the verdict was read out.

Earlier in the day, looking toward his wife’s parents, he said “sorry, sorry.”

Speaking to reporters after the sentencing, Alexia’s mother, Isabelle Fouillot, said that she was happy with the verdict.

“It is a very good decision, exactly what I hoped, at the height of our suffering,” she said. “That will allow us to turn a page.”


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