A former boxing world champion who squared off with Katie Taylor in 2016 has gone on trial for murdering her wealthy husband with a baseball bat.
Viviane Obenauf stands accused in Switzerland of having killed her husband named only as Thomas F. by hitting him over the head 19 times.
Thomas, the owner of the Des Alpes restaurant in the popular Swiss resort town of Interlaken, was found dead in their Swiss home after having allegedly been beaten to death by his wife with the baseball bat.
Obenauf, 36, is a former Brazilian professional boxer who competed from 2014 to 2019. She was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where she played football and was an Olympic gymnast before becoming a boxer at the age of 18.
She took the International Boxing Organization (IBO) female super featherweight title in 2019.
She denies murdering her husband Thomas, who was 61 in late 2020. She was arrested in December in connection with his death.
Former detective inspector Markus Melzl, 70, told Swiss media: “In the case of the homicide in Interlaken, we’re talking about overkill.”
He added: “It shows that the perpetrator was mad and there were a lot of emotions involved.”
He also said: “You are very close to your victim with a baseball bat. Much closer than using a gun, for example. It means a lot emotionally.”
But Obenauf denies murder, reportedly saying: “I didn’t kill my husband. I will continue my sport, that’s my passion.”
Obenauf also complained about not being able to see her son enough. She said: “I’m only allowed to see him once a week for 10 minutes.”
Her son, who has not been named, is reportedly living with his father, a previous partner of the defendant’s. The young boy, nine at the time of the murder, reportedly testified that his mother and Thomas had argued and she had moved out.
The boxing champion, who was therefore living separately from her new husband at the time of the murder, added that she and Thomas had wanted to have children after getting married following just over a year of dating and that she did not marry him for money, according to local media.
Her lawyer also reportedly claimed that blood spatter found at the scene was a result of an accident when her husband’s motorcycle fell on his legs.
Some of his blood was reportedly found on Obenauf’s shoes, and according to her lawyer, this could also be due to the alleged accident, said to have taken place the month before the murder, in September 2020.
The boxing champion’s husband was reportedly on blood thinners, due to a heart attack, which increased the bleeding, with the defendant’s lawyer requesting that a witness of the alleged accident be questioned.
But the prosecution did not agree and moved to have the motion dismissed.
On the night of 18th October 2020, the evening of the murder, the defendant claimed that she was at home watching films but the court also heard that she told a friend that she had gone jogging that evening. She claimed that she lied to her friend and actually said that she was going to go jogging but, in the end, decided not to.
An unnamed witness was also questioned on the first day of the trial. They reportedly claimed to have seen Obenauf’s car in Interlaken late in the evening of 18th October, shortly after the murder.
The witness also said that while they recognise the car, they could not see who was in it.
The first day of the murder trial took place in Thun, in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region, yesterday, Monday 5th December.
Swiss newspaper Blick said she had been arrested in London when a man in a nightclub tried to grope her bottom when she was celebrating her 30th birthday and she punched him in the face. The incident meant that she spent several hours in a jail cell in October 2016.
The trial is ongoing.