Jury deliberations begin in husband's murder trial

WLUK file photo.
WLUK file photo.
MERRILL, Wis. (AP) - Jury deliberations are underway in the murder trial of a Lincoln County man accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a swamp.

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

Daily Herald Media reports defense attorney James Lex told jurors Tuesday there is no physical evidence tying his client to the crime.

But in his closing statement, prosecutor Richard DuFour claimed Mark Bucki's "intense desire to end his marriage" led to the "brutal and senseless murder of Anita Bucki."

Bucki took the stand in his own defense, saying he had nothing to do with his wife's disappearance or death.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A Lincoln County man on trial for killing his wife and dumping her body in a swamp on Tuesday testified that he had nothing to do with her disappearance or death.

Mark Bucki, 50, took the stand in his own defense, testifying that he and Anita Bucki mutually agreed to a divorce in the hours before she disappeared, according to Daily Herald Media.

"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 told investigators she often went for long walks by herself.

Anita Bucki's body was found May 10 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.

The jury will be sequestered at a Merrill hotel once deliberations begin, and that could happen later Tuesday.