Defense attorney asks about victim’s alleged marijuana use

Published 1:13 pm Saturday, September 28, 2013

ST. PAUL — The defense attorney for a Minnesota man accused of killing his wife raised questions Friday about whether the woman’s marijuana use may have contributed to her death.

Jeffery Trevino, 39, of St. Paul is on trial in the death of his wife, 30-year-old Kira Steger. Steger disappeared in February, and her body was recovered from the Mississippi River in May.

Trevino’s attorney, John Conard, showed pictures taken by police of a bag of marijuana found in Steger’s purse. Conard then asked retired St. Paul police Sgt. John Wright if marijuana users and dealers are robbed with “surprising frequency” in St. Paul.

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Wright said users and dealers are robbed but that he wasn’t sure if “surprising frequency” was an accurate assessment.

Trevino had told police he was worried about his wife’s sudden habit of drinking, staying out late and marijuana use. One of Steger’s close friends testified earlier that she used marijuana recreationally.

Wright, who interviewed Trevino twice, testified Steger told Trevino the weekend before she went missing that she was going out with friends. Witnesses say Steger on Feb. 15 stayed over at the home of a co-worker with whom she was having an affair.

Wright also said when police interviewed Trevino he asked them twice what he should do with his wife’s belongings.

Wright is the prosecution’s last witness. His testimony ended about 4:30 p.m., and testimony will resume at 9 a.m. Monday with Conard’s ongoing cross-examination.

It’s unclear if the defense will call any witnesses. Trevino must decide by Monday whether to testify in his own defense. Closing arguments could be made Tuesday morning, with the case then going to the jury.