By Doug Stanglin
Los Angeles, CA (USA TODAY) - A stunned jury in the Los Angeles County murder trial of a local chef heard him say in a taped interview with detectives that he had slow-cooked his wife's body for four days to get rid of the corpse after accidentally killing her, The Daily Breeze reports..
David Viens, 49, has pleaded not guilty to killing 39-year-old Dawn Viens in 2009.
The taped interviews were conducted in March, 2011, in his hospital room after he tried to commit suicide by jumping off an 80-foot cliff on the same day that The Daily Breeze reported that police suspected him in his wife's death.
Viens, chef-owner of the Thyme Contemporary Cafe in Lomita, in South Bay, tells detectives that he and Dawn had been arguing and that he duct-taped her mouth and put her in a closet.
"For some reason I just got violent," he said.
When he woke up four hours later, Viens tells detectives, he found her dead.
"I just freaked. I go, 'Oh my God. And I go rushing out there and she's gone," he says on the tape.
He says he panicked and decided to get rid of her corpse.
Here, according to the The Daily Breeze, is an excerpt from the confession:
"I manipulated her so the face was -- the face is down, and I took some -- some things -- like weights that we use, and I put them on the top of her body, and I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days," Viens said.
"You cooked Dawn's body for four days?" sheriff's homicide Sgt. Richard Garcia asked.
"I cooked her four days," he said. "I let her cool. I strained it out as I -- I was in there, OK."
Viens says he mixed what remained of the body with other waste and poured it into the restaurant's grease pit, the Los Angeles Timesreports.
The remainder was packed into garbage bags and thrown into a trash bin. Viens says he hid her skull and jawbone in his mother's attic, although police did not find any evidence during a search of the home.