By Reg Chapman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Kira Steger’s family filled the courtroom Thursday to hear the case prosecutors have set against her husband, Jeffery Trevino. He is accused of killing Steger in February and dumping her body in the Mississippi River.

Trevino sat motionless as opening statements set the scene. They described a rocky relationship that was about to end.

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Prosecutor Andrew Johnson set out to prove this was a case of “rage, jealously, deception and cover up.”

The marriage between Trevino and Steger was an unhappy one, he said. She wanted to leave; she had found someone else.

A search of the couple’s St. Paul home, Johnson said, turned up a blood spatter in the master bedroom, the DNA of which matched Steger’s.

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The defense attorney, John Conrad, contested that, saying only a thimble full of Steger’s blood was found in the house.

While Steger’s family and friends testified that she was unhappy in her marriage, other friends said Steger had become distant in the months before her disappearance. They said she’d stay out late and drink more than usual.

Steger was reported missing after she didn’t show up for work at the Mall of America. About three months later, authorities found her body in the Mississippi River.

The prosecution went through about a dozen witnesses Thursday and is expected to have close to 50 witnesses on the stand.

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Trevino is charged with two counts of second-degree murder. He has been in custody ever since police found the blood spatter in the couple’s bedroom.

Reg Chapman