Appeals court upholds Jeffrey Trevino's murder conviction in connection with wife's death

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The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a ruling Monday that upholds the murder conviction of Jeffery Trevino, 41, of St. Paul.

The court found “the evidence is sufficient to sustain Trevino's conviction” in the murder of his wife, Kira Steger, who vanished from their St. Paul home; prosecutors at trial maintained Trevino smothered her while in a "jealous rage" and then disposed of her body. Steger, who was 30 at the time she disappeared, was a manager of an apparel store at the Mall of America. She was last seen alive on Feb. 21, 2013. After weeks of searching, her body was found in May in the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul.

Trevino was sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison, nearly twice the maximum recommended by state sentencing guidelines. A Ramsey County jury convicted him of second-degree degree unintentional murder. He was acquitted of second-degree intentional murder.

FOX 9 notes that Trevino's defense team appealed the second-degree murder conviction, claiming circumstantial evidence was used to convict Trevino and that the judge failed to give the jury proper instructions. The Pioneer Press adds that the appeal also maintained that the aggravated sentence that Trevino received for hiding Steger's body was improper.

Trevino, who has maintained his innocence, appealed the conviction in February of 2013. Trevino's prison release date remains June 2031.

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