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Mark Duenas' sons testify at his murder trial

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jul 19 2013 01:36:58 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 19 2013 01:37:18 AM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

Tears filled the courtroom on Thursday as the gallery and jury listened to testimony from Casey and Jason Duenas, the sons of murder suspect Mark Duenas and his murdered wife, Karen Duenas.

The Duenas' youngest son, Casey was the first to take the stand. He said he was frantically woken up by Mark after he said he had discovered a bloody Karen.

Earlier that evening, Casey had been at the movies. He said on the stand that Mark told him to go next door to his brother's house for help.

Casey said he was frightened that someone could be outside, but he did what he was told.

When Jason, the oldest son, testified, he said he felt for a pulse on Karen but could not find one and thought she was dead.

Because he lived next door to his parents, Jason Duenas described the openness of the Duenas home. He said the couple's garage was always open to friends and family. He began to tear up as he went on to say that his children had access to eat pancakes with "Grandpa Mark" and "Grandma Karen" whenever they wanted.

Earlier in the day, Sgt. Michael Perry with the Shasta County Sheriff's Office testified about Mark Duenas' lack of emotion at the crime scene.

He testified that when he saw Mark and Jason near Karen's body, Mark's behavior appeared to be "nonchalant" while he saw Jason crying.

Mark Duenas' attorney, Ron Powell, immediately objected to this and said that nowhere in Perry's report did he mention seeing the two in the same room nor did he describe their demeanor.

Following these testimonies, Dr. Susan Comfort, who conducted Karen's autopsy, testified.

She said that Karen had been stabbed three times, twice in the back and once in the chest and she had several cuts on her hands.

She said the weapon appeared to be a knife and it could have been a kitchen knife, but it was difficult to tell whether or not it was serrated.

The trial is expected to resume Tuesday.