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David Viens, LA chef accused of cooking his wife, can't represent himself at murder trial, judge says

David and Dawn Viens
CBS Los Angeles/Lomita Police Dept.
David and Dawn Viens
CBS Los Angeles/Lomita Police Dept.

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - A chef accused of murdering his 39-year-old wife and boiling her body for four days to get rid of the evidence asked the judge in his case Thursday if he could fire his lawyer and represent himself.

PICTURES: LA chef accused of cooking wife's corpse

But according to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Rand Rubin rejected David Viens' request Thursday, saying it was too late in the proceedings for him to take over.

The LA Times reports that Viens told the judge he and his attorney disagreed over trial tactics. The 49-year-old stood up from his wheelchair Thursday to object when his attorney Fred McCurry told the court that the defense had no more evidence to present.

Viens is accused of murdering his wife Dawn sometime before she vanished in October 2009, and was badly injured when he jumped off an 80-foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes after learning he was being investigated as a suspect.

Complete coverage of David Viens on Crimesider