Viens claims that he didn’t murder his wife, but that after an argument he tied her up and duct taped her before going to sleep. When we awoke the next morning, he claims that she was dead. Panicking, he took her body to his restaurant, Thyme Contemporary Café, and dumped her 105 lbs body into the drum where he slow cooked her for four days.
That is the story he also told his daughter, Jacqueline, who claims that her father and her stepmother seemed ” like they loved each other.”
After discovering his wife’s dead body, Viens “panicked because he did not expect to wake up and find her dead,” defense attorney Fred McCurry told the jury.
Police used a ruse to capture Viens. After he read a story planted in a local newspaper saying police found his wife’s blood in their home, Viens told his new girlfriend that he had killed his wife, then drove to Rancho Palos Verdes and dove off of an 80-foot cliff, McCurry told a jury.
Viens survived with multiple injuries and attended his trial in a wheelchair.
Viens claims he dumped his wife’s remains in a grease pit, and her body has never been found. He faces up to 15 years in prison.