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A Fresno man is on trial in Fresno Superior Court, accused of killing his estranged wife — and then cleaning the crime scene with bleach and driving around the city with her body in the back seat of her car.

But defense attorney David Mugridge told jurors Wednesday during opening statements of David Pena’s trial that his client didn’t kill Martha Mendiola inside her west-central Fresno home in November 2016.

Mugridge said Pena, 51, found his estranged wife with a knife in her back. After he took the knife out of his estranged wife’s back, he cradled her in his arms and heard her last wishes: “I love you. Please don’t let (my son) see me like this.”

That’s why Pena cleaned up the crime scene, Mugridge said, and drove around Fresno with her body, covered with a tarp, in the back seat of her car.

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