BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – The trial for a man from Silverthorne accused of murdering his wife began Wednesday afternoon.
Dale Bruner is charged with beating and strangling Stephanie Roller Bruner in 2010. A three-day search ended with her body being found in the Blue River outside Silverthorne.
Opening statements were expected to begin at about 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Summit County averages less than one murder per year, so the case has highlighted the headlines in the community.
Bruner has denied murdering his wife all along. The search started on a snowy November morning around Thanksgiving in 2010.
The former county employee and dance instructor was reported missing just a few weeks after filing for divorce. Roller Bruner’s body was found in the Blue River, just a few hundred feet from her house.
Her family told CBS4 it was more than a shock.
“I’ve been in somewhat of a fog myself just because of the emotions that have happened,” Roller Bruner’s brother Aaron Roller said.
It was nine months before Bruner was indicted for murder.
The family has said there were tumultuous times for the married couple before Roller Bruner’s death.
Bruner and his defense team had requested a change of venue. When that was denied they also had a chance to take a plea deal, but the defense declined.
It is not known whether Bruner will take the stand in his own defense.
Much of the trial’s paperwork has been sealed but a judge’s order shows that Roller Bruner’s brother, Aaron, will testify along with another family friend. One of the children is also expected to take the stand.