Chef Convicted of Killing Wife, Cooking Remains Gets 15 Years to Life

David Robert Viens was convicted of killing his wife, Dawn, in 2009 after an argument

View Comments (


    David Viens wanted a new trial after being convicted of killing his wife and cooking her remains, but instead the judge sentenced him to 15 years to life. Reggie Kumar reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 22, 2013.

    A former chef who killed his wife and cooked her body for four days to dispose of her remains was sentenced on Friday to 15 years to life in prison.

    David Robert Viens, 49, was convicted of second-degree murder for the slaying of his wife, Dawn, in 2009.

    Before Viens was sent back into custody, the victim's sister, Dayna Papin, urged the court to continue to keep Viens locked up.

    "He's going to continue to fight for his freedom, which I hope you don't give to him for a very long time," Papin said.

    Chef's Murder Trial to Go Into 3rd Day of Deliberation

    [LA] Chef's Murder Trial to Go Into 3rd Day of Deliberation
    A jury in the murder trial of a Lomita chef accused of killing his wife then slow cooking her body its second day of deliberations without a verdict. The defense is making the case that his wife's death was unintentional - a tragedy, but not murder. Whit Johnson reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2012.

    Viens attended his court proceedings in a wheelchair as a result of injuries suffered when he jumped 80 feet down Inspiration Point in Rancho Palos Verdes on Feb. 23, 2011, after a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy tried to stop his vehicle and Viens' girlfriend tried to stop him from plunging from the oceanfront cliff by grabbing his clothes.

    Viens said he argued with his wife and bound her mouth, hands and feet with duct tape because he didn't want her going out driving while intoxicated, prosecutors said.

    After he found her dead the next morning, he concocted a plan to cook her remains, prosecutors said.

    "I took some, some things like weights that we use and I put them on the top of her body, and I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days," Viens said, according to audio released in court from an interview with deputies.

    He jumped off a cliff in a botched suicide after being confronted by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies.

    Defense attorneys argued that Viens did not intend to kill his wife.

    Dawn Viens was reported missing by friends and family members three weeks after she was last seen at the couple’s Lomita restaurant, the Thyme Contemporary Café, in October 2009.