Monday afternoon will mark a legal finale in the murder trial of Jeffery Trevino as a judge delivers a sentence in the murder of 30-year-old Kira Steger. On Sunday, loved ones of both families braced for the decision.
Trevino is facing up to 30 years in prison, but his lawyers are hoping for something closer to 10 after he was convicted of killing his wife in October. Kira Steger's body was found in the Mississippi River more than two months after she was reported missing.
Fox 9 News caught up with Steger's mother Sunday night in her hotel room as she put the finishing touches on the victim impact statement she intends to read in court.
"Our lives will never be the same," said Marcie Steger.
Marcie Steger has titled her statement "Living Hell."
"I want the maximum sentence and nothing less," she admitted to Fox 9 News.
Over the past several days, the still-grieving mother struggled to describe how it feels to lose someone who was so important to so many people. Prosecutors hope to see the punishment enhanced, but Joseph Daly, a courtroom veteran and emeritus professor at the Hamline University School of Law, doubts the judge will sentence Trevino to the full maximum.
Daly said the defense has submitted competing arguments for a lighter sentence. Trevino's attorney, John Conard, wrote that his client is a military veteran with no criminal record, and should therefore be sentenced at the lower end of the scale.
That idea, however, makes Marcie Steger feel sick.
"If you are going to go ahead and say, 'Oh, he's been in the military. We'll just give him 10 years,' what does that say to the country?'" she asked.
Trevino's family has been somewhat camera-shy throughout the trial; however, Fox 9 News obtained a statement prior to sentencing that was released by Andrea Barnett, Jeffery Trevino's sister. It can be read in full below.
TREVINO FAMILY STATEMENT
Through this long nightmare, my family has endured. We will never be the same for we have been torn apart From the loss of a beautiful soul -- our dear, sweet Kira -- to now losing my brother, Jeff Trevino, who is loved and supported by many.
There's nothing my family can say to change things, nor has anyone truly wanted to hear what we have had to say from the beginning of all of this. All we can say is we hope one day true justice will be served and that no matter the circumstances, Jeff is an outstanding brother, father and son and not one person knows him better than his own family.
Kira's memories with my family and love for my family can never be taken away, and her memory will forever be with us and she will always be remembered.
I truly pray and hope that this tragedy sheds light to the community that people are judged before knowing all facts and circumstances just by reading and hearing what's in the news, and its sad that half of the things reported in most cases are false and inaccurate information but yet people believe and run with that. He served our country and has never been in trouble with a clean record and that should count for something.
My family is strong and very close and we support family and stand by them no matter the situation or circumstances, and were taught to never turn your back on family -- especially when they are down, but to love and stand by them, and that's exactly what we have done. With that being said, I'm very proud to be the sister of Jeff Trevino and I could not have been blessed with a better more loving brother growing up.