Jeffery Trevino will be back in court on Monday to be sentenced for the death of his wife Kira Steger. Last month, Trevino, 39, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder. He was acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree intentional murder.
The Star Tribune reports that the St. Paul man's attorney will ask that he be granted a lower-end prison sentence in connection with the crime. In a recently filed memo, John Conard argued that Trevino’s military service and previously clean criminal record should qualify him for a sentence of about 10½ years in prison, writing that "...the minimum guideline sentence of 128 months is certainly appropriate.”
The Associated Press reported that Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Andrew Johnson filed a memo requesting that Trevino be sentenced to 30 years because of “aggravating factors,” including the fact that Steger’s body was missing for two months. Johnson argued that Trevino kept silent about the body's whereabouts, causing trauma to the family. Conard argued that Trevino was exercising his Fifth Amendment right.
Although Trevino was convicted of the murder, there have been no findings that he disposed of Steger’s body and concealed it. District Judge Leonardo Castro will rule on that matter when Trevino is sentenced. Aggravating factors can be used as grounds to increase prison time beyond state guidelines. Conard argued that if prosecutors believed Trevino concealed the body, they could have charged him with that crime instead of addressing it after trial.
Prosecutors argued at trial that Trevino killed Steger in their St. Paul home because she wanted a divorce while he wanted to save their marriage. Steger was last seen alive with Trevino and went missing after the couple’s date night on Feb. 21. Her body was discovered in the Mississippi River on May 8.