Former Anna Maria Island chef David Viens has been convicted in California of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Dawn.
The gruesome details of her disappearance and death have emerged in the high-profile trial, which ended last week with Viens' conviction in a Los Angeles courtroom.
David and Dawn Viens had operated the Beach City Market, at 1701 Gulf Drive, in Bradenton Beach, which is now closed. They also ran the Island Kitchen and Market, at 414 Pine Ave., Anna Maria Island.
Viens and his wife, Dawn, were once popular figures on Anna Maria Island. The highly publicized trial and Viens' confession will not be forgotten soon by residents in this beach community, according to the Bradenton Herald.
Dawn Viens disappeared in 2009. David Viens, 49, is in a wheelchair, after trying to kill himself by jumping off a cliff, after police started investigating Dawn's disappearance.
According to police, Viens confessed to boiling his wife's body for several days at a restaurant he ran in Lomita, Calif. Viens claims he did not kill his wife, but that she died accidentally after he restrained her and duct-taped her mouth shut.
According to the Bradenton Herald, Viens had trouble with authorities in Florida, causing him and Dawn to leave Anna Maria Island.
In January 2005, Viens was charged with possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of Anna Maria Elementary School.
He and his wife left Anna Maria Island shortly after that.
"One of the couple's friends, Karen Patterson, who testified for the prosecution, told reporters through tears that the week before Dawn Viens died, 'Dawn told me he loved her so much and he would never hurt her.'
"Instead, Patterson said, 'He treated her — literally — like a piece of meat and got rid of her.' "