An ex-Tory councillor ran over his wife in France with a Mercedes and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment

David Turtle, 67, was found guilty of deliberately killing his wife Stephanie, 50, in front of their house in Prayssac in March 2017.

Turtle says he didn’t murder his wife, and plans to appeal Cahors Criminal Court verdict, claiming that her death was accidental.

David Turtle, 67 (right), has been found guilty of deliberately killing his wife Stephanie (left), 50, in front of their house in Prayssac in March 2017

David Turtle, aged 67, has been found guilty for deliberately murdering his wife Stephanie (left), at their Prayssac house, March 2017.

After a trial of three days, the decision was made.

Local media reports that David Serra, the prosecutor for Turtle’s case said that he could not have known that Stephanie Turtle was driving over his body when he passed her.

“He crushed her right away as soon to he hit the pedal.

Matthieu Chirez, a lawyer for the victim’s sister, also argued that it doesn’t make sense that Stephanie would ‘voluntarily put herself under the wheels, knowing that he [David Turtle]ActuLot reports that people “wanted to leave”.

Turtle was in Cahors on Wednesday, charged with Aggravated Manslaughter for his wife’s murder. 

Prosecutors said Stephanie had been placed in front of Turtle’s car after an argument over which television program she should watch. He also claimed that Turtle knew that Stephanie had run over him.

Her fatal injuries included multiple rib fractures as well as a broken collarbone and shoulder bone. Lesions were also found in her lungs. 

Turtle said that he had not made the claims and intended to drive home after his argument. However, he did not know his wife was driving in front his Mercedes E-class which is two-and-ahalf tons.

He told the court that he loved his wife. “What has happened to my heart broke.”

Prosecutors accused Turtle (right) of deliberately running over Stephanie (left) after an argument, but he says it was an accident and he didn't know his wife was in the driveway

Turtle, left) was accused by the prosecution of intentionally running over Stephanie (left), after an argument. But he claims it was an accident. He didn’t even know that his wife was there. 

Turtle described to the court his story of joining the RAF at age 16 and working in a shoe shop for twenty years, before becoming a Peugeot and Mercedes dealer.

When he was 40 years old, he met Stephanie on holiday in Turkey as a single person. The pair were ‘drawn together’, he stated.

The couple married soon after and settled near Bournemouth. Turtle later became a Kinson North Ward councillor and Stephanie was a Dorset council human resources officer.

He said, “Stephanie was my love, and it took me 40 years to find him.” 

But Stephanie harboured dreams of opening a B&B in France and in 2016 they moved after discovering the ‘perfect’ property, despite it needing ‘a lot of work’.

Turtle stated to the court that although he was sad to have to give up his life, his dreams for his wife were far more important. 

Turtle described the evening that Stephanie died, telling the court she and her husband began to fight over which TV program to watch before Stephanie went to sleep.

She said that she had come down late in the evening, and he decided to take a drive to prevent the argument from resuming.

Turtle stated that Stephanie followed him out the door, but she hadn’t been there when he began the engine to drive a few metres.

After stepping out of the car, he noticed his girlfriend trapped beneath and realized what was happening.

Prosecutors said that Turtle had left because the argument was resuming and was well into its third week. 

Both Stephanie and the other woman argued that Stephanie was either lying down before the vehicle as a way to keep him away, that he knew she was driving over her or that she’d been unconscious during the row that led to her being placed in front. 

Major Alain Chauvin (a retired police officer) told magistrates that no witnesses he questioned thought the death was accidental.

He said there was no way that Stephanie could have got in front of the £37,000 Mercedes without Turtle seeing. 

However, defence lawyers retorted that there wasn’t any hard evidence to support the claim that death resulted from an accident or willful act.

Turtle was judged to have a normal intelligence and a psychiatric profile. However, he is considered responsible and educated by the court psychologist.  

Turtle claimed that in previous reports to the police Turtle had stated: The saga started on March 29, 2017 when the couple had an argument over dinner. 

The row ended when his wife got to sleep. However, it was resumed after Stephanie had gone to the bathroom at midnight.

He said that while he was tempted to drive late at night to get some sleep, he felt the need to pull out. 

Stephanie was trapped underneath one of Mercedes’s wheels, with 2 tonnes of metal press down on her ribs. He jumped out and found Stephanie. 

Prosecutors contend that Stephanie’s suicide was not accidental.  

Cybele Ordoqui (the investigating judge) stated that it was highly unlikely for a woman to put on a bra before going downstairs to go to the bathroom.  

Police found Stephanie wearing a jacket and two t-shirts, as well as a bra. 

Forensic experts also alleged that Mr Turtle would have had to ‘significantly engage the accelerator pedal’ in order to run down and crush his wife, and tyre marks in the gravel driveway of the B&B suggested the car set off very quickly.  

‘[Mr Turtle]”He cannot answer the question of why he did’t see and hear his wife.” His indictment claimed.

The police discovered Stephanie’s blog online, which she had maintained about their journey to France and their new lives in France.

The home of Stephanie and David Turtle in the Prayssac region of France is pictured with the Mercedes E-class, which ultimately crushed Stephanie to death, on the gravel driveway

Pictured is the home of Stephanie, David Turtle, in the Prayssac Region of France. It’s pictured alongside the Mercedes E-class that ultimately crushed Stephanie on the gravel driveway

Mrs Turtle, who was aged 50 at the time of her death, wrote on her blog: ‘I have come to question if I might have slipped from the number one spot of Mr T’s affections … [Our]The new Mercedes Benz E class estate, is Mr T’s joy and pride. 

The detectives found that Mrs Turtle had written that her husband spent as much time buying the Mercedes as she did on the purchase of the new house. 

Mrs Turtle referred to her car as “she” and listed “a few reasons why I may be feeling a bit put out”.

She is molested. For instance, you can not park her within 20 feet of painting. When leaving home, a physical check for traffic in our quiet country lane is required – I have to actually get out of the car.

“We both approach intersections cautiously, straining our necks and checking for traffic ahead of us before chanting “all clear my path”. We must not eat or drink in her car to avoid leaving greasy marks or sticky spots on the leather interior. The list goes on… ‘

The blog was posted in September 2016, two months after the couple moved to Prayssac, with the intention of turning La Maison Cedre – The Cedar House – into a bed and breakfast.