The widely publicized murder trial of Jeffery Trevino, accused of killing his 30-year-old wife Kira Steger, is headed to the jury room.
During closing arguments, Ramsey County attorney Richard Dusterhoft on Tuesday painted a picture of an irrevocably troubled marriage and a husband driven to murder by jealous rage, the Star Tribune reports. During the marriage's final hours – a "date night" between the two – Steger repeatedly sent text messages to a lover, Dusterhoft told the jury. That was Feb. 21, the last time Steger was seen alive.
“The marriage was in deep trouble,” Dusterhoft said, the Star Tribune reports. “She had been cheating on him. That’s a powerful motive.” Steger's former boss had testified that he was having an affair with her.
It was standing room only in the courtroom as the lawyers made their final arguments. "He is guilty. There is no room in the timeline for anyone else to have done it," Dusterhoft said, FOX 9 reported.
Dusterhoft had said there was just too much physical evidence to point to anyone else as a suspect, the Pioneer Press reports.
But Trevino defense lawyer John Conard in his closing arguments sought to discredit forensic evidence in the case, including blood and DNA evidence. He also argued that Steger’s body could not have been in the river since Feb. 21, given its condition. “Her condition was remarkable,” Conard told the jury, the Star Tribune reported. “[Ramsey County Medical Examiner Dr. Michael McGee] was struck by it with his experience.”
Trevino's lawyers didn't call any witnesses. Trevino did not testify.
Among the witnesses in the case was a man who also shared the house, and he said he did not see anything unusual the night that prosecutors say Steger was killed.
Steger's family has been present in the courtroom. Her father has called the trial "gut-wrenching."
Trevino, 39, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in February after Steger’s blood was found at the couple’s St. Paul home and inside the trunk of Steger’s car. He pleaded not guilty. Her body was recovered from the Mississippi River in May.