Restaurateur pleads not guilty in wife's murder

AP News
Posted: Mar 28, 2011 6:18 PM
Restaurateur pleads not guilty in wife's murder

A Southern California man who jumped off a cliff after learning he was a suspect in his wife's disappearance has pleaded not guilty to murdering her.

David Viens (VEE-ins) of Lomita was wheeled into the courtroom on a gurney Monday. He is still being treated for injuries sustained last month after he jumped off a cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's detectives say Viens acknowledged foul play from his hospital bed last month when authorities excavated his restaurant to find his wife's body. The search for 39-year-old Dawn Marie Viens, who disappeared in late 2009, was called off after authorities determined her body was not in the restaurant.

Viens has been ordered held on $1 million bail.

He faces life in prison if convicted.