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Husband of murdered French jogger maintains "family plot" behind her death

Jonathan Daval remains the prime suspect in the murder of his wife Alexia Daval
Jonathan Daval remains the prime suspect in the murder of his wife Alexia Daval AFP / Sebastien Bozon

Frenchman Jonathan Daval, accused of killing his wife, Alexia, last year, stuck firmly to his version of events in his third interrogation before the courts on Thursday. He maintains his death was the result of a family plot. 

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The body of his 29 year old wife, Alexia, was found partially burned in November last year, in a forest not far from Gary-la-Ville, near the couple's home.

Just before the hearing began on Thursday, one of his lawyers, Randall Schwerdorffer confirmed that a questionable amount of Tramadol, an opioid pain medication, was found in her blood following a toxicology analysis.

The case has generated huge interest in France and media attention over the last few days focused on which which version of events Daval would put forward.

According to the daily ‘Le Parisien’, Daval, a 34 year old IT worker, has given five versions of his story since October 2017; only two appear not to corroborate findings from the investigation.

Daval had confirmed the disappearance of his wife while she was out jogging, but it was only in January of this year that he was arrested after confessing while in custody to having strangled his wife during an argument. He denied any involvement in the burning of the body.

But the story took another turn at the beginning of this summer when Daval claimed he had nothing to do with the killing of his wife. He insisted she had been strangled by her brother Grégory Gay while she was at her parents’ house.

The recent finding of non-innocuous amounts of Tramadol has opened up a whole new angle to this case, with Daval stating that his parents-in-law are guilty of poisoning his wife.

Grégory Gay announced earlier this week that his mother is an accomplice to the murder. She has since publicly denied any involvement in her daughter's case.

An autopsy of Alexia’s body revealed that she was a victim of violence, including many rounds of punching and strangulation.

Another hearing is scheduled for the 7 December, where members of Alexia Daval's family will be present.

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