Defendant Denies Killing Woman; Contradicts Key Witness' Testimony By E.S. Evans Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Stephen A. Buss testified at his first-degree murder trial Monday that a co-defendant had told him that the victim's death was an accident. The St. Louis County prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for Buss, who was also known here as Mike Anderson. Buss is accused of killing Anna Marie Teson last year; her body was found in the Mississippi River last April 28. Buss' co-defendant, Michael W. Reed, testified against Buss when the trial began last week in St. Louis County Circuit Court. Reed told the jury that he had left the victim unconscious in the trunk of Buss' car after helping him tie her up and gag her. Reed testified against Buss under an agreement to plead guilty to second-degree murder with a sentence recommendation of 15 years in prison. Reed and Teson both lived in the 3800 block of Juniata Avenue in south St. Louis in separate apartments. Teson, 31, was the mother of seven children. Buss, 40, who lived on Ladue Court in Creve Coeur, took the witness stand Saturday. He said he had moved to the St. Louis area in 1975. He worked as an engineer and stockbroker before he began rehabilitating old houses in St. Louis and St. Louis County, he said. Since 1983, Buss had employed Reed for painting and other jobs, he added. Buss denied killing Teson. He said Reed had told him after Teson disappeared that he had had a problem with her and that she had had an accident. Buss said he had told Reed: "I don't want to hear about it." During cross-examination Monday by prosecutor John Chancellor, Buss said he and Reed had exchanged en Deputy Suspended; Faces Drug Charge coded notes in the County Jail at Gumbo last fall. But he denied that he had urged Reed to testify that Teson had slipped on the riverbank and had fallen into the water. Buss attributed to Reed many of the decoded messages that Reed turned over to authorities. Buss also said police officers had testified falsely when they said Reed had begged Buss to tell the truth after they were arrested. Buss said Reed had been lying. During testimony, Reed and Buss both admitted to having had a homosexual relationship. In addition, when Reed was asked if he had fathered one of Teson's children, he replied, "That's what she said." The jury is expected to begin deliberating after closing arguments today in Judge Kenneth M. Weinstock's courtroom.