Wright Trial: Case In Jury’s Hands

By Lou Raguse

The jury is now deliberating the fate of accused murderer Daphne Wright.

The prosecution says there’s a “mountain of evidence” that proves Daphne Wright killed Darlene VanderGiesen. Wright’s lawyers say that evidence only confirms what happened to VanderGiesen after she died.

State’s attorney Dave Nelson laid out how he believes Daphne Wright had the motive, the opportunity, the means, and the ability to kill Darlene VanderGiesen. Not to mention DNA and physical evidence.

Wright’s lawyer Traci Smith told the jury to concentrate on what happened Feb. 1, 2006, — the day VanderGiesen died — and not on what happened after that.

Prosecutors in Wright’s murder case needed to convince the jury Wright committed premeditated murder. The State’s attorney says the evidence starts with motive. He told the jury:

“The motive was jealousy — what William Shakespeare described as the ‘green-eyed monster.’ And it was that ‘monster’ that motivated this defendant to do what she did. She had the motive but there’s more that she had.”

Nelson says Wright was jealous of VanderGiesen’s friendship with Wright’s girlfriend Sallie Collins. And that led her to kill VanderGiesen on purpose. He says a plastic bag pulled over VanderGiesen’s head and tied shut proves the killing was intentional.

“When you think accident, ask yourself why and ask the defense why that bag is over her head,” Nelson says.

Wright’s lawyer told the jury there’s no way to prove Wright put the bag over VanderGiesen’s head while she was still alive. Traci Smith told the jury, the evidence such as Wright buying a chainsaw two days later to dismember the body doesn’t prove premeditated murder.

“It’s not premeditated if all the stuff is bought after and not before,” Smith says.

In his rebuttle, Nelson says all the circumstances surrounding the case lead to the inescapable: that Wright intentionally killed VanderGiesen. He asked the members of the jury to use their common sense.

The jury was given other options in charges to consider. Now if the jury doesn’t think there’s enough evidence to convict wright of first-degree murder, they can choose one of three other lesser homicide charges.

Those don’t carry the death penalty.

But if the jury finds Wright guilty, of first-degree murder or kidnapping, she could face death.

(( Source:  KELOLAND TV ))

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