In November of 2013, 37-year-old Jeffery Trevino was sentenced by District Judge Leonardo Castro to serve 27 1/2 years for the murder of his wife, 30-year-old Kira Steger. Now, Trevino is in court to appeal his conviction, according to a news article at Fox News.
Steger disappeared; Trevino was later found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder. His wife’s body was found after months of searching in the Mississippi River in May of 2013. Jurors in the trial found that Trevino did not intend to kill his wife, as they argued and he allegedly used a pillow to quiet and calm her, not kill her.
While the sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is typically between 10 and 13 years, the judge enhanced Trevino’s sentence due to aggravating factors including the fact that concealing his wife’s body by placing it in the river added to the anguish for her grieving family members.
Trevino and his attorneys are arguing that his conviction should be thrown out, claiming that the judge in the case did not properly inform the jury when instructing them regarding circumstantial evidence. According to his defense lawyers, Trevino’s conviction was based on circumstantial evidence, however prosecutors disagree, claiming the evidence was overwhelming.
News reports indicate the judge is expected to rule on the appeal within 90 days.
Appealing any conviction is difficult, particularly when the crime the defendant allegedly committed was murder. There are often times when criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors disagree on the evidence, and whether it is solid, or circumstantial. In cases such as this, it is often left for an appeals court to decide.
If you are appealing a criminal conviction or sentence, it is critical to your future and freedom that you work with a Michigan criminal appeals attorney who has extensive experience and skill in the appeals process. Without a qualified lawyer, the chances of a favorable result are very slim.