Duenas murder trial begins with testimonies

REDDING, Calif. - Details about the crime scene and a secret affair emerged on Thursday during the trial of Mark Duenas, the Cottonwood man accused of stabbing his wife, Karen, to death.

The prosecution's first witness was a woman who was involved in a phone relationship with Mark Duenas.

The witness, Annette Green, was from Idaho but lived in Redding in the late 1970's, when she and Mark were teenagers.

She said that they never dated and were just friends but they lost touch after her family moved.

In 2011, Green said she got a Facebook message from Mark with his phone number.

At first, she said that their messages mostly consisted of catching up and talking about their lives and families but over time, she said Mark started expressing feelings for her through texts and phone calls.

Green testified that she and Mark hid their relationship from their spouses and that they both knew it was wrong.     

Eventually, Mark's wife, Karen Duenas discovered Green's phone number repeatedly showing up on phone records and confronted Mark about it.

After Karen found out, Green and Duenas stopped talking for a few months but Green said they picked back up again when Mark bought a pre-paid phone and used his friends' phone and his work phone.

Green told the courtroom that they had talked about the future and Mark had told her that "something really bad would have to happen" in order for them to be together.

She said that in January of 2012, she told Mark that she wanted to end their phone relationship but he reached out to her again in February, three months before Karen was murdered.

During the cross examination, Green said that while Mark did talk about a rocky marriage with Karen, he never said he wanted to leave her.

Dale Green, Annette's husband, testified after her, telling the courtroom that he had talked to Mark over the phone and stressed that he could no longer have a phone relationship with his wife.

Deputies who were at the scene also testified and described what they saw at the home that night and showed photos of Karen Duenas' bloody body. When Mark Duenas saw the photos, he held up his hand, blocking his view.

During Deputy Cary Erickson's testimony, he said that Mark, who did not sleep in the same bed as Karen, told him he was woken up by a cat fight the night of the murder and noticed a light on in the master bedroom.

Erickson said Duenas told him he went to check on his wife and that was when he found her dead.

Deputy Troy McCoy said he was the first to arrive at the crime scene, but it appeared that Karen had been dead for a few hours.

The next trial date will be on Tuesday morning.

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