A Frenchman went on trial Monday for beating his wife to death and burning her body in the woods, a crime he admitted to after initially reporting her missing.
Jonathan Daval, 36, risks life in prison for the murder of his wife Alexia, whose charred remains were found hidden under branches near their town of Gray-la-Ville in eastern France in October 2017.
Daval initially said Alexia, a 29-year-old bank employee, had gone jogging and never came back.
After her death he cut a distraught figure, appearing in tears at a press conference with his in-laws and leading one of several events arranged countrywide in her memory.
Three months later, prosecutors said the IT worker confessed to the murder — beating her after a heated argument, knocking her face against a concrete wall, and strangling her.
He initially denied setting fire to her body, but finally admitted that too, in June last year.
Daval changed his story several times, at one point withdrawing his confession, blaming his brother-in-law, and finally admitting to everything all over again.