Mark Duenas Remains In Prison After Petition For New Trial Is Denied

A Cottonwood man who murdered his wife ten years ago has been denied his bid for a fresh trial. 62-year-old Mark Duenas was given a 25-year-to-life sentence in 2013 for the murder of his wife Karen the previous year at the couple’s home. Duenas has never wavered from his claim that an unknown intruder killed Karen. He said he awoke in the living room to the sound of his wife calling out to him, and then discovered her in the bedroom with multiple fatal stab wounds. He claimed someone had entered through a bedroom window, but the broken glass was on the outside. The murder weapon was never found. The Duenas family, as well as his in-laws on Karen’s side, all supported Mark throughout the trial, and most if not all of them still do. In fact, the judge at the time said the really unusual thing about the case was the unanimous and unwavering family support. A writ of habeas corpus was filed that prompted an evidentiary hearing in June, during which it was claimed that the original defense attorney should have hired a forensic blood evidence expert and an audiologist. On Tuesday the petition was denied, and Duenas remains in Folsom Prison.


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