- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MERRILL, Wis. (AP) - Jurors began deliberating Tuesday in the murder trial of a Lincoln County man accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a swamp last year.

Authorities allege that Mark Bucki, 50, strangled and then stabbed his estranged wife to death before dumping her body in Taylor County. Anita Bucki’s body was discovered last May 10.

Jurors deliberated for nearly five hours Tuesday before breaking for the night. Deliberations are scheduled to resume Wednesday morning.

Defense attorney James Lex told jurors there is no physical evidence tying his client to the crime, Daily Herald Media reported (https://wdhne.ws/1t5iPjJ ).

“The prosecution wants you to believe (Mark Bucki) stabbed his wife seven times in a bedroom but left no blood there,” Lex said. “Don’t you think there would be some physical evidence tying him to the crime? There isn’t.”

But in his closing statement, prosecutor Richard DuFour argued that Mark Bucki’s “intense desire to end his marriage” led to the “brutal and senseless murder of Anita Bucki.”

DuFour said that to acquit Bucki, jurors would have to believe that Anita Bucki left her home after midnight, wandered around in the woods alone in 32 degree weather wearing nothing but jeans, a blouse and a bathrobe, and was attacked by a stranger on the road who strangled her without a fight, stabbed her seven times and dumped her body in a swamp.

“How likely is that?” DuFour asked jurors. “Not likely at all.”

Earlier Tuesday, Bucki took the stand in his own defense, saying he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance or death. He said he and his wife mutually agreed to a divorce in the hours before she disappeared.

“I went to bed and thought everything was good, that everything was calm,” Bucki testified.

Bucki reported his wife missing on April 26 and told police he last saw her just before midnight, when the two went to bed in separate rooms. Bucki told police he had no idea what happened to his wife after he went to bed and that she often went for long walks alone.

Anita Bucki’s body was found in a swamp about 18 miles from the couple’s house. She had been stabbed in the chest.

Bucki is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, strangulation or suffocation, and concealing a corpse.


Information from: Wausau Daily Herald Media, https://www.wausaudailyherald.com

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