ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Attorneys in the Jeffery Trevino trial spent more than a couple hours presenting their closing arguments to 14 jurors on Tuesday morning.
After two female jurors were excused, 8 men and 4 women were given the task of deciding the defendant's guilt or innocence on two separate, second-degree murder charges, one with the intent to kill, the other without intent.
Trevino's charged with killing his wife Kira Steger back in February. Police and prosecutors say there was a struggle inside the couple's home on the east side of St. Paul months before Steger's body was found in the Mississippi River downtown.
KARE 11 talked with Kira Steger's father and sister after the case was handed to the jury.
"It's been very tough. Very tough and now it's a waiting game and we're feeling nervous," Jay Steger said.
Keri Anne Steger, who was also very involved in the search for her sister back in February, agreed.
"We've all been very anxious and nervous, but we are very confident in our attorney, in the state, and that justice will prevail," she said.
Jay Steger said everyone in that courtroom is suffering.
"I feel sorry for the Trevino family and our family for what we're going through, this tragedy. And Kira loved the Trevino family deeply, and I'm sure it must be hard on them as well as our family," he said.
"We are looking forward to just having this trial over with and to have a proper burial and memorial for my sister," Keri Anne Steger concluded.
Closing arguments were filed earlier in the day.
Richard Dusterhoft, Assistant Ramsey County Attorney opened his argument by telling the court "his marriage was in deep trouble. She had been cheating on him. That is a powerful motive for murder. It was a violent death. It was personal. You don't smother somebody with a pillow by accident," he said, before laying out a timeline of events complete with video surveillance.
He also talked about Kira Steger's February rent check, which they say Trevino forged.
"He did that because he knew she wasn't coming back. He knew she wasn't coming back because he killed her the night before and he put her in the river. He's guilty," Dusterhoft concluded.
Defense Attorney John Conard told jurors the evidence isn't there.
"All of this backward looking, second guessing, does anyone know how to act when their wife is missing?" he asked jurors. "It's not a story supported by scientific evidence.
He later added that "the DNA is insignificant in this case."
Conard closed by saying, "Jeff didn't do this. They have to prove that he did. He isn't guilty. He didn't do this and that's why they can't prove it."
Jurors began deliberating around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
If they don't reach a conclusion by 9 p.m., Ramsey County deputies will take them to a hotel where they must stay until 9 a.m. on Wednesday. They will then be brought back to the courthouse to continue deliberating.
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