British man accused of crushing his wife to stand trial in France

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A former British city councilor accused of killing his wife by searching her with his car will be tried in France on Wednesday.

David Turtle reportedly accelerated his Mercedes at his wife, Stephanie, outside their home in southwest France, crushing him under the vehicle after an argument.

Turtle denied the charges, saying his death was a tragic accident.

Turtle, 67, had quit her job as a Mercedes dealership and resigned as a Tory Councilor in the Kinson North district of Bournemouth, and his 50-year-old wife, Stephanie Turtle, left the human resources department of Dorset Council in 2016, to move to Prayssac to manage a guest room. The couple, married in 2000 and childless, hoped to welcome their first guests in the summer of 2017.

Gendarmes were called to their home around 2 am on March 30, 2017 to deal with what has been described as a “domestic accident”. An autopsy revealed that Stephanie Turtle’s rib cage had been crushed and she was suffocated by the weight of the car.

Jayne Clarke and her partner Roy Carmen, friends of the couple, told investigators Turtle called them at 1:30 a.m. to tell them there had been a “very serious accident.”

“My God, I killed my wife, I think. It was an accident, ”he said, according to Carmen. Clarke told investigators Turtle seemed “very shocked” and told her that he and his wife had a fight.

Turtle told police he and his wife rowed after dinner and went to the office while she was doing the dishes. She then went to bed, he told them, but the argument resumed when she got out of the bedroom around midnight to use the bathroom and he decided to go for a drive. He said he had no idea he hit his wife after leaving, but “felt” he should stop. When he got out he found her under the Mercedes, he said.

Stephanie Turtle was wearing a jacket, two T-shirts, a bra and pants at the time of her death. During questioning, investigating judge Cybèle Ordoqui suggested that a woman was unlikely to get up to use the toilet in the middle of the night and put on a bra.

The police report said there were traces of blood on the ground, on the vehicle and on a beige sweater found inside the house.

A forensic report confirmed that Stephanie Turtle was standing in front of the Mercedes when it was run over, with experts suggesting the car had accelerated tremendously to pass over her body. Her husband had “depressed the accelerator considerably,” the report concludes. Tire tracks in the gravel confirmed that the vehicle had driven off at considerable speed. Mercedes’ motion sensors were in perfect working order.

“He cannot answer the question why he did not see or hear his wife and could never answer it,” the indictment said.

Laurent Bruneau, Turtle’s lawyer, said: “They were a couple who loved each other and had done so for a long time.

“David Turtle has said over and over again that it was an accident. At no time did he see [his wife] when he started the car and he only found out after that it was underneath. He had no intention of killing his wife and no motive.

“There is no evidence of criminal intent. It was an accident. “


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