Jury set to decide fate of man accused of killing wife, removing body at her request

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Prosecutor Nathan Lambert laid out a detailed power point presentation consisting of nearly 100 slides to get his theory across to jurors that David Pena murdered his wife in cold blood during Tuesday's closing arguments.

Lambert reminded jurors the brutal way in which Martha Mendiola was killed -- even showing them the murder weapon

"When Martha runs and tries to go inside the house the defendant takes his buck knife, this buck knife, and thrusts it into her back," said Lambert.

Members of the jury were presented one last time with threatening text message from the defendant to Mendiola in the days leading up to her death.

They were also shown pictures of the crime scene and offered a theory in the steps taken before Pena wrapped up his wife's body.

"He goes to the linen closet and when he does that he's bleeding and that's when he transfers his DNA onto that linen closet door," Lambert said.

Pena's defense attorney argued the evidence in the case was circumstantial and maintains that Pena did not kill his wife.

His defense is -- he discovered Mendiola with a knife in her back in the early morning hours of November 29th 2016 and only decided to scrub the crime scene with bleach because it was Mendiola's dying wish

"Remember who has the burden of proof. I don't have to proof that. The only thing I have to present to you is the idea of reasonable doubt," said David Mugridge.

It is now up to the jury to decide David Pena's fate. If convicted he faces 16 years to life in prison.
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