Man found in Lenexa U-Haul with kids, wife’s dismembered body takes stand in trial

OLATHE, Kan. -- A man discovered in a Lenexa storage unit with his two children and his wife's dismembered body took the stand Wednesday in his criminal trial.

In the third day of Justin Rey's trial, the 36-year-old spoke in a Johnson County court in defense of multiple charges of aggravated child endangerment, child misconduct and possession of child pornography.

In October 2017, Rey and his 2-year-old and newborn daughters were discovered in a U-Haul storage unit in Lenexa. Also in the storage unit, the body of Rey’s wife, which had been chopped up and stored in a rolling cooler.

Rey told police his wife died during childbirth in a Kansas City, Missouri, hotel room two days prior.

On Wednesday, Lenexa detectives testified about the alleged child pornography they found on his phone. Rey initially showed them his phone to prove his innocence in his wife's death.

Investigators said the phone's camera roll appeared to show girls younger than 18. There were also screen shots, one of which showed children in a nudist camp. There were also allegedly searches for "nudist teen" on Rey's phone.

Prosecutors questioned Rey about the search for that phrase. He said he would have been sleeping and didn't know who did it. The only other adult with him in his hotel room at that time was his wife. He said she didn't do it either.

He also told the court, because he is a Christian Scientist, he doesn't have sexual desires and wouldn't look at porn of any kind. On the stand he said, someone would have to be stupid to do that.

He suggested that police interfered with the investigation.

Testimony also revealed Wednesday that Rey cut up his wife's body so he could take it to an Indian reservation in Arizona, by taking an Amtrak train.

Prosecutors argued that what Rey did to his wife's body and what his kids endured -- being around their mother's body in a cooler in a storage unit -- was child endangerment.

During closing arguments, Rey's attorney said he thinks he's a questionable parent and mentally ill. But he argued none of that is criminal, and the children were never in danger.

A Johnson County jury began deliberating Rey's fate Wednesday afternoon. It's not clear at this time if the jury will reach a verdict by the end of the night or if they will reconvene Thursday morning.

FOX4 will have the latest from the Johnson County Courthouse on FOX4 News at 9 and 10 p.m.

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