US chef guilty of cooking dead wifeAgence France-Presse
LOS ANGELES—A US chef was convicted of second degree murder Thursday after he admitted to slow-cooking his wife’s body for four days to get rid of the evidence, while claiming she had died accidentally.
David Viens, 49, told police he had bound his 39-year-old wife Dawn with duct tape to stop her from escaping, and then went to sleep. He awoke four hours later to find her dead, and panicked.
“I cooked her four days. I let her cool, I strained it out” and then threw the remains in the trash, he told detectives in evidence revealed during the trial. Her body was never found after she disappeared in October 2009.
The former restaurant owner from Lomita, south of Los Angeles, had bound her similarly probably twice before, because he “didn’t want her driving around wasted, whacked out on coke and drinking,” he said.
Prosecutor Deborah Brazil had called for Viens to be convicted of first degree murder, arguing that his wife’s death “was no accident.”
Dawn “likely met her death in a much more violent fashion” — such as being choked — than her husband admitted, Brazil said.
“That is why the defendant needed the four days to completely destroy and dispose of Dawn Viens’s body.”
The six-man, six-woman jury panel deliberated for five and a half hours before returning their verdict of second degree murder.
Viens appeared in court in a wheelchair as a result of injuries sustained during an 80-foot (25-meter) jump off a cliff in February 2011, shortly after he told his girlfriend that his wife’s death was an accident.
He also told his daughter that his wife had died accidentally.