Originally posted: Nov. 25, 2013 7:41 a.m.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The St. Paul man who killed his wife and attempted to hide the evidence by dumping her body in the Mississippi River has been sentenced to more than 27 years.READ MORE: Missing Person: You Houa Thao
Jeffery Trevino was convicted last month of second-degree unintentional murder in the death of Kira Steger. On Monday, a judge sentenced him to 27.5 years, with at least 18 years spent in prison. The judge said Trevino was “dishonorable” and showed a “lack of empathy.” The maximum guideline is 15 years.
Steger’s family said after the sentencing they were relieved with the judge’s decision.
“(I felt like) the courthouse was lifted off my shoulders,” her mother, Marci, said. “That was a very big worry, which direction it was going to go.”
She said she’s grateful to the community for their support through this difficult time and said she encourages people to live a kind life, to honor her daughter.
“Live life, be kind to people, put other people before yourself, you’ll be happier,” she said. “That’s how she lived her life. She wasn’t materialistic. That stuff didn’t matter.”
Steger’s body was found in the Mississippi River in May, more than two months after she disappeared.
In court Monday, Steger’s family gave tearful statements, urging the judge to give out a maximum sentence.
“This monster is a calculated criminal,” said Kari-Ann Steger, Kira’s sister. “He deserves no mercy.”
Marci said Trevino certainly showed no mercy with her daughter.
“He dumped my daughter like a piece of trash into the nation’s most polluted body of water,” she said.
Still, her father, Jay, said whatever the punishment, it will never make up for the pain Trevino has caused their family.READ MORE: WCCO Saturday Night Interview: Mike Kojonen Talks Finances For Mother's Day
“No matter how much time you give Mr. Trevino, it’s not enough, never enough,” he said.
Trevino declined to make any comments before being sentenced. Marci said that’s been unimaginable for her.
“He hasn’t said anything the whole time. Absolutely nothing,” she said. “I can’t imagine sitting there the whole time knowing exactly what you did and not having a change in emotion. Not once.”
“It helps you feel like you’re not alone,” she said.
Prosecutors requested a 30-year sentence before the hearing.
Trevino’s attorney asked the judge to sentence his client to 10 and a half years in prison.
He argued Trevino’s military service and previously clean criminal record should’ve granted him a shorter sentence.
Marci said while Trevino took away their daughter, he’ll never take away the memories.
“Yes, we have the memories, but as we have the pictures — they’re pictures — we can talk about them and remember this time or that time but there’s no chance to create any more,” she said.
Trevino Sentencing Press Conference, Part 1
Trevino Sentencing Press Conference, Part 2