(CBS Connecticut) — A 70-year-old Torrington man accused of murdering his 79-year-old wife made his initial appearance before a judge today. Daniel Gervais held his head down, as he slowly shuffled into the courtroom.

He told police that he woke up in their Cider Mill Crossing home and found his wife’s body next to a smashed glass coffee table, then called 911.

He initially said she had fallen and that he did not go near the body, but police saw faint blood stains on his slippers and on several items around the couple’s home.

They noticed bloody sponges in a sink, and paper towels with what appeared to be dried blood in different trash cans.

Officers say there was nothing in the area that Phyllis Gervais could have tripped on.

Phyllis Gervais’ DNA was found on a bloody, 2-foot long pointed steel rod that was located in the garage.

An unknown person’s DNA was also found on the rod.

DNA from Phyllis and Daniel Gervais was found on a bloody T-shirt that police found in a basket, under some clothes in a bedroom.

The medical examiner determined that Phyllis Gervais was killed by at least three strikes with a an object.

In court paperwork, police say it appears someone had tried to clean up some of the blood near Phyllis Gervais’ body with a towel.

Blood was found on the ceiling, and other bloody items were moved around the house.

A diluted blood-like substance was found in two sinks and a shower, that police say indicates someone tried to wash off blood.

Daniel Gervais gave police two different explanations about how he got a fresh cut on one of his arms.  Police say the first version of the story did not check out.

He told police that he has trouble with his short-term memory because of strokes.

Investigators noted that Daniel Gervais was unemotional at his wife’s sudden death. While emergency crews were still in the house, he went back to bed with the lights out.



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