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Man Who Jumped From Cliff Pleads Not Guilty In Wife’s Murder

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Claudia Peschiutta Claudia Peschiutta
Claudia Peschiutta is a general-assignment reporter at KNX 1070...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A man who jumped from a cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes while under the surveillance of sheriff’s detectives has pleaded not guilty in the murder of his wife.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta Reports

David Robert Viens, 47, who owned a Lomita restaurant, was wheeled into a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on a yellow gurney to answer a charge stemming from the disappearance of his wife, Dawn.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder S. Kalra ordered Viens to remain jailed on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to return to court on April 28, at which time a preliminary hearing date will be set.

Viens, who allegedly implicated himself when he spoke to sheriff’s detectives, accused of killing his wife between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20 in 2009.

He jumped from a cliff near the 31500 block of Palos Verdes Drive West about 9:15 a.m. on Feb. 23.

His wife had been reported missing by friends and family members three weeks after she was last seen at Thyme Contemporary Cafe, the restaurant her husband owned at 24427 Narbonne Ave.

Earlier this month, authorities dug at the business after cadaver dogs indicated a body might be buried there. No human remains were found.

Viens could face life in prison if convicted.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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