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Man accused of murdering wife to have summer trial, jury selection process may be extensive

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jun 17 2013 02:21:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 18 2013 11:34:55 AM CDT

The Cottonwood man accused of allegedly murdering his wife, Karen, back in May of 2012 will be headed to trial on July 9.

On Monday morning Mark Duenas, 53, of Cottonwood had his trial readiness conference in Shasta County court.

It was confirmed that he will stand trial for allegedly murdering his wife of nearly 33 years, Karen Duenas.

It is a case that has gripped national headlines.

According to Shasta County Sheriff's deputies, Mark stabbed Karen to death in their Cottonwood home on May 5, 2012.

Shortly after he was named a person of interest but was not arrested until October 5.

Investigators claim Mark made a 911 call where he admitted to killing Karen, stating that the tape said, "I killed my wife, expletive."

However the defense argues that he actually said, "I found my wife, sick."

Shasta County deputy district attorneys have also made the argument the Duenas' marriage was crumbling, citing that Mark had a phone relationship with a woman out of state.

Mark's family, who has stood by his side throughout the case, said in a written statement, that Karen knew of the relationship and while she was not happy about it, the couple was still very much in love.

Attorneys for both parties said on Monday morning they anticipate the jury selection process to potentially be tedious, given the large amount of media coverage given to the case.

Duenas' attorney, Ron Powell, said there will be a pre-screening process of jurors to make sure those who do not know about the case are not exposed to it.

Jury selection is slated to begin on July 9.

Attorneys estimate the trial could take anywhere from six to eight weeks.