ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Day five of the Jeffery Trevino murder trial brought the most intense moments so far. Two family members, one on the Steger side of the courtroom and one on the Trevino side, left the courtroom when the Medical Examiner's testimony became too much for them.
Trevino is charged with killing his wife Kira Steger back in February; her body was found in the Mississippi River, not far from the courthouse, in May. The barge worker who found that body told the court on Wednesday "I couldn't quite tell what it was. I called a couple of co-workers (over), decided it was a body, and called it in," Taylor Shultz of Upper River Services told the court.
Dr. Michael McGee testified that Steger's manner of death was a homicide after conducting an autopsy. He told the court her body was both well-preserved and decomposed. Defense attorney John Conard questioned him on how long the body could have been in the river, arguing it's possible that the body wasn't in the river the nearly three months that's been alleged.
BCA Forensic Scientist Steven Swenson detailed the dozens of blood spots found throughout the home, though the majority of them were found in the couple's bedroom, dozens of them being found on the box spring of the bed. His testimony set up his colleague McKenzie Anderson's testimony, which took jurors through the lengthy DNA testing done on the spots found in the home and within Steger and Trevino's vehicles. A bloody pillowcase found away from the home was also DNA-tested and matched the profile of Kira Steger.
At one point during the Medical Examiner's testimony, prosecutors brought up the possibility that the victim may have been suffocated.
Prosecutors say they only have a few expert witnesses to call to the stand before handing the case over to the defense. One of them, a retired detective who questioned Trevino for almost four hours on two occasions, was the subject of a heated exchange after the jury left the courtroom.
The result of that argument will delay the beginning of the trial on Thursday by four hours, as the lawyers will pour over the written transcripts of those two Trevino interviews.
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