Defense presents new opinion on cause of VanderGiesen’s death

By Josh Verges

Daphne Wright’s defense team finished its case this afternoon by presenting a second opinion on how Darlene VanderGiesen died.

Dr. Donald Habbe, a Rapid City forensic pathologist, said VanderGiesen more likely died of a single blow to the head than suffocation. It supports one of the defense theories that the woman died accidentally by falling down the stairs leading to Wright’s basement.

A state witness, Minnehaha County Coroner Brad Randall, had said he believes there were at least three blows to the head. He also said the bag over VanderGiesen’s head could have contributed to her death.

The state will put on rebuttal witnesses later today. The jury should here closing arguments Wednesday morning.

(( Source:  Argus Leader ))

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