Trevino attorney asks judge for 10.5-year sentence

Published 2:43 pm Saturday, November 23, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS  — The attorney for a St. Paul man convicted of killing his wife is asking a judge to sentence him to 10 1/2 years in prison instead of 30.

Jeffery Trevino, 39, was convicted in October of second-degree unintentional murder in the death of 30-year-old Kira Steger, a central Wisconsin native. Her body was found in the Mississippi River in May, more than two months after she went missing.

Trevino’s military service and previously clean criminal record should grant him a lower-end prison sentence, according to a memo filed by Trevino’s attorney, John Conard.

Email newsletter signup

Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Andrew Johnson filed a memo Wednesday requesting Trevino get 30 years because of “aggravating factors,” including the fact that Steger’s body was missing for two months.

Johnson argued that Trevino kept silent about the location of Steger’s body, causing trauma to the family.

Conard argued that Trevino was exercising his Fifth Amendment right.

“Jeffery Trevino was arrested within a few days of his wife’s disappearance,” Conard wrote. “At that time, if not before, he had an absolute right to remain silent, and to expect that his silence would not be used against him. Fundamentally, he had no affirmative duty to disclose information which would incriminate him, assuming that he had such information to give.”

Prosecutors argued at trial that Trevino killed Steger because she wanted a divorce, but he wanted to save their marriage. Steger was having an affair at the time.

Trevino’s conviction has a guideline sentence range of about 10 1/2 years to 15 years in prison.

There have been no findings by a jury or judge that Trevino disposed of Steger’s body and intentionally concealed it. District Judge Leonardo Castro will rule on that matter when Trevino is sentenced Monday. Aggravating factors can be used as grounds to increase a prison sentence beyond state guidelines.