Bechler, 33, is accused of murdering his wife, Pegye Bechler, during a
boating trip off the coast of Newport Beach in 1997. He has pleaded not
guilty to the charge.
Barnett declined to comment on what Bechler might say if called to
testify but added that it is not unusual for defendants to take the stand
in their own trials. However, it is not a common practice, either, he
"There's no set path," Barnett said. "Each case is different."
Bechler will probably be the first witness or one of the first few
witnesses he will call, Barnett said.
"He's always wanted to talk," said Barnett on Bechler's willingness to
take the stand.
Bechler was arrested in October 1999 after investigators secretly
recorded conversations between him and his former girlfriend Tina New. In
the tapes, he reportedly admitted to killing his 38-year-old wife.
New testified last month that Bechler on another occasion described
the grizzly murder in detail, telling her he hit his wife on the head
with a dumbbell and dumped her body in the Pacific Ocean with 70 pounds