Exclusive Interview with Steven Rios

1 decade 11 months 3 weeks ago October 03, 2005 Oct 3, 2005 Monday, October 03 2005 Monday, October 03, 2005 5:02:49 PM CDT in News
Steven Rios lives in the Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center.  Rios now wants to be known as Steve, contacted KOMU reporter Josh Hinkle by mail three weeks after his trial, saying he'd talk when he was ready.

A month ago he wrote again, saying it was time to talk.

For the past 90 days, jail has been home to Rios. "It was one of the hardest things I had to go through, as a cop convicted of murder," said Rios. "It's hard for any person, let alone a husband and father to come to work one day and find their life totally changed."

His life changed more than a year ago when he met Jesse Valencia, a 23 yearold MU college student, who Rios was convicted of murdering. "This case isn't about me, it's about Jesse," Rios explained.

Rios has not spoken on camera since his arrest. Now, he's only allowed to speak behind a protective sheet of glass.

As Rios prepares to file his appeal, he looks back on what went wrong in his trial. "I think some of the sensationalized aspects of the trial muddied the waters. It didn't have anything to do with fairness or the truth, it had to do with a show."

Rios hopes a new trial will just deal with the facts in regard to the case. He admits to having an affair and not being proud of his actions. But that's where he says his involvement with Valencia stopped.

Since his conviction, Rios' life is reduced to 23 hours each day in his cell, but said his family and friends are still very supportive and are with him 110%. "That support is the only thing waking me up because it's hard everyday waking up here."

"I just want to get back to being a dad and living my life," explains Rios. 

Now, Rios says he's very confident in the appelate process and is confident once more facts are given to the jury, he will go free.

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