Man accused of killing his wife explains why he cleaned up scene, disposed of body and never called police

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Members of the jury finally heard David Pena describe in his own words the final moments of Martha Mendiola's life on Monday.

Pena did not take the stand -- instead prosecutors played the five and a half hour tape of Pena being interrogated by investigators the night his estranged wife was killed.

Pena is accused of sneaking into Mendiola's home and stabbing her to death on Nov. 29, 2016.

The prosecution says he then scrubbed the scene with bleach and drove around with her body in the car before police tracked down the body and vehicle using pings from Mendiola's cellphone.

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"I was driving around with her in the back. That's all I was doing nothing more," Pena said.

Pena would like the jury to believe that he discovered Mendiola in the garage with a knife in her back but never called 911.

According to his defense attorney, Mendiola asked Pena to clean up the crime scene so her son wouldn't see it.

Pena also told interrogators that he was a drug addict and admitted to using heroin before he finished rolling the body up in a tarp and putting it in the car.

The prosecution believes Pena was upset after Mendiola kicked him out of the house just 10 days prior to the murder.

If convicted Pena could spend 16 years to life in prison.

Closing arguments are expected to begin Tuesday.
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