He answers in great detail but "does not explain" his "barbarism". At the assizes of Yvelines, a 70-year-old retiree delivered Wednesday a long account of the murder of his companion, whose body was found dismembered and charred in a wood in 2017. On August 31, 2017, pieces of burned bodies were discovered on a pedestrian path in Vernouillet, about forty kilometers west of Paris.
It will take investigators nearly two years to identify them in May 2019: the victim is a 67-year-old woman, reported missing by her companion on October 16, 2017. On the day of the crime, she had "gone into a delirious phase", says the accused, and would have tried to strangle him during a "scuffle". He says he then "grabbed her throat" in return. "Then I couldn't feel his breath (...) I had a moment of astonishment. I didn't call the Samu. I did not do the first aid gestures, "he continues.
"Have you thought about calling the police?" the president asks. "I couldn't bear to lose my family's esteem. I made a choice, I made the wrong choice. (...) The choice to make my partner's body disappear," repeats Philippe Marchand.
The accused said he used a knife and saw to dismember the victim's body, "a horrific operation that lasted almost four hours," he said. Philippe Marchand sighs, says his "remorse". "It shocked me a lot what I did. I've never been violent, I've always been respectful, especially towards women. I do not explain this barbarism. »
In a black sweater in the box, his hand clutching the microphone, the former taxi driver told at length about the romantic relationship he had been having since the end of 2015 with this "kind" and "elegant" woman, whom he had "fallen in love with immediately", after the libertine evening during which he had met her.
They moved in together a few months later. "It was idyllic the first weeks and then it quickly degenerated, because of her behavior," says the accused, who describes her as "very jealous" and suffering from "hysteriform disorders". "Hysterical? No. I always thought she was depressed, "said in the morning the son of the victim, questioned on this term by the court.
Several times hospitalized, the sexagenarian suffered from "depressive recurrences", according to an expert. Monday at the bar, a police officer had said that the accused, after reporting the disappearance of his companion, had called his service several times to inquire about the follow-up of the investigation. Marchand also admitted to sending text messages from the victim's phone to himself and family members after his death.
The pensioner is also suspected of having used for more than a year the bank accounts of the victim, from which more than 28,000 euros were debited. A friend of the accused, who had been dating him "for 60 years", had described Monday a man who had liked since his retirement "to change his wife, to have extramarital relations". He added that he had been, at the time of his arrest, "surprised and horrified by the facts".
According to the investigation, Philippe Marchand was in a relationship with another woman from July 2016. Repeatedly saying he was "in love" with the victim, he also explained that she wanted to "monopolize" him. The verdict is expected on Friday.
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