Restaurateur Who Admitted Killing and Cooking His Wife Gets Max Sentence, But Now Says He Loved Her and Didn't Do It
David Viens, a South Bay restaurant owner who admitted he killed his wife and cooked her remains in 2009, has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, the maximum allowable for the charges.Viens, 49, was found guilty of second-degree murder last September.
Dawn Viens was reported missing, and ultimately the investigation pointed towards her husband David, with whom she owned and operated the South Bay's Thyme Contemporary Cafe. Believing she had been killed, authorities dug up the recently-renovated restaurant's floor in hopes of recovering the body.
When a local paper revealed David Viens was a suspect, he fled from authorities, giving chase and hurling himself off a cliff. He survived the fall, but while hospitalized, admitted he killed his wife, then cooked her body over four days, then disposing of the remains.
An audio recording of Viens detailing the crime to police included gruesome details about how Viens got rid of his wife's body: Viens used weights to keep his wife's 105-pound body submerged in the water while he cooked it down. When he was done, he combined the remains with other waste ("strategically placed in with debris and other crap," said Viens) and put it down the grease pit of the couple's restaurant. Other portions of the remains were distributed into trash bags and tossed out.
Though Viens had confessed to killing his wife, he pleaded not guilty to her murder. He claims he killed her accidentally after an argument, when he bound her hands, feet, and mouth with duct tape, took a sleeping pill, and left her in the living room. When he awoke he said he found Dawn dead, and stashed her body temporarily in the closet before putting it in a bag and taking it somewhere to be cooked.
In court today, Viens gave a 45-minute argument asking that he be granted a new trial, reports City News Service. He denied cooking his wife and said he didn't remember talking to detectives, noting he had just come out of lengthy surgery. Viens insisted he loved his wife.
The judge denied Viens' request today for a new trial.