TREVINO TRIAL: Testimony on affair, taxi ride, video and texts - New York News

TREVINO TRIAL: Testimony on affair, taxi ride, video and texts

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Monday marked week two of the murder trial of Jeffery Trevino and included testimony from a homicide detective and a taxi driver who picked up a man from Mall of America and drove him to Trevino's neighborhood the day after Kira Steger went missing.

Trevino, 39, faces two counts of second-degree murder in the death of his 30-year-old wife, whose body was pulled from the Mississippi on May 8 after she went missing in late February.

Follow FOX 9's Paul Blume on Twitter @PaulBlume_FOX9 for live updates from the courtroom.

So far, about 20 witnesses have testified in the trial, but as many as 50 may be called.


At about 3 p.m. on Monday, the man who had begun a romantic relationship with Kira Steger was called to the witness stand.

During opening statements, prosecutors revealed that Steger was having an affair with Ryan Wendt, the district manager of the Delia's store where she worked.

Yet, his time on the stand lasted only a few short minutes. During that time, Wendt said the two had a casual relationship and that he knew she was married; however, he said he had been told the two were separated. Wendt was on his way to Colorado when she disappeared.

Wendt told the jury the last text message he shared with Steger was about the Minnesota Wild winning a hockey game. The message was sent at 11:44 p.m. on Feb. 21, and prosecutors claim Jeffery Trevino killed her within hours of that message being received.


The taxi driver testified that he distinctly remembers making a run from the Mall of America to the Payne-Phalen neighborhood in St. Paul on the morning of Feb. 22. 

Although the driver remembers his lone, male passenger to be tall and thin, he testified that he couldn't definitively say who the man was and he is not sure if it was Trevino.

Prosecutors claim -- and surveillance video appears to show -- someone abandoning Steger's Chevy Cobalt in a parking garage at the Mall of America, where Steger worked as a clothing store manager.

After tossing what appeared to be the trunk liner over the edge of the ramp, the camera shows the person walk over to the taxi stand to hop a ride.

On the witness stand, the taxi driver told jurors that his passenger asked to be dropped off at 424 Iowa Avenue. The couple lived at 570 Iowa Avenue. Whoever was in the cab paid in cash.


On Monday, jurors also got to see surveillance video footage from that night taken by a neighbor's camera.  A St. Paul homicide officer broke down the images frame-by-frame.

The camera's view sweeps 180 degrees east to west on Iowa Avenue and for a couple of seconds, captured frames the couple's house, which is where prosecutors claim the murder occurred.

On the night Steger was alleged to be killed and the morning after, the video shows lights being turned on and off in the house and the couple's vehicles coming and going.

That footage also showed an airport taxi van in the neighborhood and a man walking down the street and up the driveway shortly after exiting.


Other witnesses called to testify on Monday included security personnel who discovered Steger's car and noticed reddish-brown stains inside.

According to the amended charges filed in May, the trunk liner that was recovered was stained with blood.

In addition to the stains, security staff also found Steger's purse inside the vehicle along with blank divorce papers that appeared to have been downloaded from the Internet and printed off.


Also on Monday, text messages sent by Jeffery Trevino were submitted as evidence in the case.

In the hours and days after Steger's disappearance, several messages were sent by phone and iPad -- including "please get in touch with police" and "don't do this."

Prosecutors argue the content shows a guilty conscious trying to cover its tracks, but defense attorneys will likely contend they are simply the expressions of a concerned husband.

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