Posted at: 10/02/2013 6:34 PM
Jeffery Trevino Found Guilty on Count 2, Murder Without Intent, in Death of Wife
Jeffery Trevino, 39, is on trial in Ramsey County District Court.
Photo: Ramsey County Sheriff's Office
A Ramsey County jury reached a verdict Wednesday in the murder trial of Jeffery Trevino, who is accused of killing his wife Kira Steger.
Trevino was found not guilty on count one, murder with intent, and guilty on count two, murder without intent, according to KSTP reporter Tim Sherno who was in the courtroom as the verdict was read.
The jury had been deliberating for its second day Wednesday, after failing to reach a verdict Tuesday. The jurors deliberated for more than eight hours Tuesday before being sequestered in a hotel overnight.
The 39-year-old St. Paul man was on trial in Ramsey County District Court, charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Steger, 30, went missing in February. Her body was found more than two months later in the Mississippi River.
Closing arguments in the trial wrapped up Tuesday afternoon.
"In deep trouble," is how prosecutors described Steger and Trevino's marriage. They admit Steger cheated on her husband, but in closing arguments they said it was no reason for murder.
Prosecutors claim Trevino went on a jealous rage in their St. Paul home and suffocated Steger with a pillow, then dumped her bruised and battered body into the Mississippi River. Prosecutors say it was a violent death.
The defense said in closing arguments Trevino didn't kill Steger and the state doesn't have proof he committed the crime. They claim less than a thimble of Steger's blood was found in their bedroom and Trevino didn't try to cover up the murder.
On Monday, the prosecution rested its case against Trevino. Minutes later the defense rested its case without calling a single witness to the stand. Trevino did not testify.
The jury heard testimony from a security guard at the Mall of America, where Steger worked and her vehicle was found. A forensic scientist had testified about blood found in the couple's home and Steger's vehicle. Also, a police sergeant has testified about questioning Trevino after his wife went missing.
Trevino believed his wife was having an affair, according to the prosecution. Those suspicions were confirmed when Steger's former boss, at a clothing store she worked at, testified. He said he started having an affair with Steger in the middle of February, around the time she went missing.
Trevino will be sentenced in November.
Warning: the criminal complaint contains graphic and disturbing details. Click here to read the complaint.