Vinati Murder Trial Goes to Jury

Vinati Murder Trial Goes to Jury

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Jurors have heard closing arguments and were to deliberate Wednesday in trial of John Pete Vinanti, 40, on a charge of first-degree felony murder in the beating death of his girlfriend Brenda Lee Lundell.

Vinanti testified Monday that he did not know Lundell was dead until he woke up the morning of Sept. 30 and found her ice-cold body next to him in bed. He said he did not know why he wrapped her body in a blanket and put it under their bed.

Prosecutors say evidence indicates the 45-year-old woman still was alive when she was pushed under the bed. They also questioned Vinanti's story of waking up next to Lundell. Police found two spots where blood had soaked through the carpet, yet no blood was found on the bed.

"There's a tale of lies extending from the beginning to the end and this case is perpetuated by a compulsive liar," prosecutor Tim Taylor said in closing statements on Tuesday.

Defense attorney Dana Facemyer said Vinanti may have a fuzzy memory, but told the truth about what he could remember.

Vinanti wants to take responsibility for killing Lundell, but did not intentionally kill her, Facemyer said.

Vinanti said he beat Lundell on Sept. 29 and she went to bed, where he found her dead Sept. 30, but a neighbor testified earlier Tuesday to seeing Lundell the evening of Sept. 30.

The woman's adult son found the body under the bed on Oct. 2.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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