The case of a Minnesota man accused of killing his wife is about rage, jealousy and deception, the prosecutor told jurors in opening statements Thursday.
Jeffery Trevino, 39, of St. Paul has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, 30-year-old Kira Steger. She went missing Feb. 22, and her body was found in the Mississippi River on May 8.
Ramsey County prosecutor Andrew Johnson told jurors that the case is about "rage, it's about jealousy, it's about deception, it's about a cover-up. She wanted to leave, but he didn't want to let her go."
Steger was having an affair and wouldn't always stay home, Johnson said.
Johnson said more than 150 small spots of alleged blood evidence were found on the couple's box spring.
Defense attorney John Conard countered that "less than a thimble" of Steger's blood was found in the house, the Star Tribune reported. He stressed that it was a rental home with dirty, stained carpeting throughout.
Steger's sister, Felicia Krejci, two co-workers and a waitress who served Steger and Trevino on Feb. 21 at a Mall of America restaurant testified Thursday. Krejci and the co-workers said Steger became unhappy with her marriage in late 2012. The waitress said the couple appeared uncomfortable and "awkward" with each other at dinner.
Steger, who was from the Wausau, Wis., area, worked as co-manager of a clothing retailer at the Bloomington mall. She failed to show up to work on Feb. 22 and 23. Trevino reported her missing to police on Feb. 24. A Feb. 25 search of the St. Paul house turned up what authorities allege was blood evidence, leading to Trevino's arrest.
Steger's car was found abandoned in a mall ramp with what appeared to be blood on the trunk.
"I was frantic," co-worker Jazmine McLaughlin testified. She said she told Trevino the news.
"He was still very calm," she testified. "I was hysterical. He handled it very calmly even though I was hysterical."
Steger was looking for her own apartment, and divorce papers were found inside her abandoned car.
The trial is scheduled to last three weeks.