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Man who jumped off cliff pleads not guilty

David Viens, 47, was arrested on Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2011, in connection with his wife's death. He was arrested at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center after waking up from a coma after he jumped off a cliff in Ranchos Palos Verdes.

March 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man who had severely injured himself jumping off a cliff pleaded not guilty in the murder of his wife on Monday.

David Robert Viens, 47, who owned a Lomita restaurant, was wheeled into a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on a yellow gurney to answer a charge stemming from the disappearance of his wife, Dawn, who disappeared about 17 months ago.

Viens was ordered to return to court on April 28 to determine a preliminary hearing date.

Investigators say Viens implicated himself in the disappearance of his wife.

He was hospitalized after he jumped off a cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes on Feb. 23. Authorities said he had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend and leapt from the cliff when sheriff's deputies who were watching him tried to intervene.

His wife had been reported missing by friends and family members three weeks after she was last seen at Thyme Contemporary Cafe, the restaurant her husband owned at 24427 Narbonne Ave.

If convicted, Viens faces up to life in prison.

City News Service contributed to this report.