ST. PAUL, Minn. - Attorneys for the prosecution and defense are painting starkly different pictures of the marriage of Jeffery Trevino and Kira Steger, as testimony in Trevino's murder trial gets underway.
Trevino is accused of killing Steger and disposing of her body in the Mississippi River.
During opening statements the lead prosecutor told jurors that the case they would hear is about rage, jealousy, deception, and cover up. The state maintains that Trevino killed his wife after he found out she was planning to leave him.
The defense appears ready to build a case based more on science than emotion. The lead defense attorney told the jury that DNA evidence is not reliable, and that less than a thimble full of Kira's blood was discovered in the bedroom of the couple's rented home in St. Paul.
Following opening statements the prosecution called Steger's younger sister as its first witness. Felicia Krejci told jurors that her sister confided in her that the couple's relationship was deteriorating, and that she wanted to move out and get her own apartment.
Prosecutors also called two co-workers of Steger's from Delia's at the Mall of America. The first, Kayla Warner, testified that Kira did not feel positive about her marriage and did not wear her wedding ring at work. Warner says she also witnessed what she called flirtatious behavior between Steger and her district manager, a man she allegedly was having an affair with at the time of her disappearance.
Jurors also heard from Jazmine McLaughlin, a longtime co-worker and confidante of Kira's. McLaughlin told the jury that she had talked with Steger about her marriage often, and had seen it go from extremely happy to wanting to have it end. McLaughlin said that she talked to Jeffrey Trevino a number of times in the days following her disappearance, and described him as concerned but calm. She also recalled him getting very upset when someone put up a Facebook post drawing attention to Steger's disappearance.
The court also heard from a server at Crave, who waited on Kira and Jeffery during a 'date night' hours before she allegedly was killed. Paige Eisenbart testified that the two didn't seem like a couple, that they were awkward and disconnected.
KARE 11's Scott Seroka is in the courtroom for the first day of testimony and will have updates throughout the day. You can also follow him on Twitter at @sseroka.
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