Judgement day for Janne’s spouse

Janne Jemtland defence lawyers Ida Andenæs Christian Flemmen JohansenDefence Lawyers, Ida Andenæs and Christian Flemmen Johansen, in the courtroom of Hedmark District Court in the case against Janne Jemtland's murder-indicted husband. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Judgement day for Janne Jemtland’s husband

The prosecutor wants the husband of Janne Jemtland behind bars for 18 years for the murder of his spouse. He, however, demands an acquittal. The sentencing is due on Monday morning.


At 10 am on Monday, District Court Judge, Trond Christoffersen, calls for order in court for the last time in the Janne Jemtland case.

The Hedmark District Court will then provide an answer to the question that everyone asked before the trial: Is the 47-years-old, former French Foreign Legionnaire, a “cold-blooded and calculating killer,” as Attorney General, Iris Storås, characterises him, or is he a desperate husband that more or less in self-defence attempted to wrest away the pistol that his wife threatened him with.

The dramatic sounds that the son heard whilst lying awake in his bed as the parents came home from a party during the night before December 29th, does not provide an unequivocal answer. That may support the father’s story of a violent quarrel ending in a brawl on the porch, leading to Janne Jemtland (36) accidentally being shot in the head while holding a pistol.

The son does not believe so. Immediately after he heard the gunshot, he thought his father had killed his mother. He had heard his mother scream “let go of me, let go” before it sounded as if she was dragged down the stairs to the first floor and further out through the entrance of their home at Veldre in Brumunddal.

He never got any response to the text message he sent his mother shortly after hearing a loud bang: “Mummy?! ”

Key witness

As the evidence was presented in Storås’ summary of the case, both interviews with the son appear to be vital to the case. The first interview is strongly influenced by what the accused father wanted him to tell the police about that night when his mother was left bleeding in the snow. During the second interview, the boy then tells the police how he perceived what he had heard and describes how his father behaved in the hours after the shot was fired.

Not least, the son confirms that he had been told by his father what to say to the police when the Janne Jemtland case was still concerning a missing person.

All relevant actions of the accused after the fatal shot was fired can be interpreted as intended to cover up a murder. He cleared the courtyard of snow during the night, thereby removing bloodstains, wrapped the victim in plastic, hid the body and lied to his family, friends and the police about the whereabouts of Janne Jemtland.

He has even explained his actions that they were initially irrational panic actions and that he eventually came to a point when it was too late to change his tale. From this point onwards, all his actions – including the dumping of his wife’s body in the Glomma River – were meant to strengthen and preserve the story that he had spun.

Does not have to convince

His defender, lawyer Ida Andenæs, states in her procedure that the husband’s explanation about the post-shooting period might weaken his credibility – but points out that it is only what happened up until the shot was fired, which is relevant to guilt. What he did after his wife was hit by the shot and the fake account he presented to the police and friends in the aftermath, has no direct connection to the question of guilt.

The defendant does not have to convince the court that what he explains is factual, it is sufficient that the court is not 100 per cent certain that what he says is not true, she stresses.

The prosecutor believes all evidence in the case supports the assertion that the husband killed his wife, and all of which he did after the shot was fired, concerned concealing a criminal act. The way he handled the carcass of Janne Jemtland is in itself a punishable offence, she believes.

– He stripped her naked, leaving her dead body in the yard for up to one and a half hours. Then he wraps her in plastic and drives around the hamlet with the bodily remains in the trunk. The ensuing actions display a total lack of respect for human life, Storås emphasises.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today