MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jurors began deliberating the murder case Tuesday against a St. Paul man accused of killing his wife in a jealous rage and dumping her body in the Mississippi River, where it was discovered more than two months after she disappeared.
In closing arguments, a prosecutor contended that Jeffery Trevino, 39, killed his wife, 30-year-old Kira Steger, after becoming fed up with her texting a co-worker with whom she was having an affair. Steger was last seen alive Feb. 21, and her body was recovered from the river in May.
"The marriage was in deep trouble," Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Richard Dusterhoft told jurors. "She had been cheating on him. That's a powerful motive."
In his closing argument, defense attorney John Conard continued poking holes in the presumptive blood tests and DNA results, the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/18KK6OA) reported.
Trevino has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. After hearing closing arguments in the morning, jurors began deliberating about 1:30 p.m. The jury stopped deliberating for the night just before 9 p.m. Deliberations will continue Wednesday at 9 a.m. The jury will be sequestered during deliberations.
Steger texted the co-worker with whom she was having an affair throughout a date night she had with Trevino on Feb. 21. Dusterhoft showed text messages Steger sent the man. In one, Steger said she was having jalapenos and it made her think of the other man. In another, she said she was bowling with Trevino but it was really practice for bowling with the man.
Authorities believe Trevino killed Steger shortly after she texted the co-worker at 11:44 p.m.
"That would be infuriating to be on your date night with your wife," Dusterhoft said.
The prosecutor also said that Conard's theory that Steger's marijuana use could have played a role in her death doesn't make sense. The robber wouldn't have had time to kill her and dispose of her body while also dumping her car at the Mall of America, he said.
Conrad argued that Steger's body was in too good of a condition to have been in the river that long. He suggested that whoever killed her could have stored her body before disposing of it. He also noted that police took photos of Trevino's body but didn't find any signs of injuries that would point to a struggle or fight.
"Her condition was remarkable," Conard said.
Trevino did not testify in his own defense, and his attorney did not call any defense witnesses.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com