Wright Trial: Defense’s Closing Argument

By Lou Raguse

Murder suspect Daphne Wright’s lawyer asked jurors to carefully consider what happened beyond a reasonable doubt on Feb. 1, 2006 — the day Darlene VanderGiesen died.

In her closing argument, Traci Smith told jurors the prosecution is trying to distract them with all the evidence about VanderGiesen’s dismemberment.

Smith says proof Wright dismembered VanderGiesen with a chainsaw actually dispels the notion of premeditated murder, because the chainsaw and plastic bags allegedly used to wrap around VanderGiesen’s body parts were purchased after the killing, rather than before.

The defense did not deny VanderGiesen’s DNA was in Wright’s basement, but Smith told the jury that doesn’t prove kidnapping. And the lack of a murder weapon and explanation from the prosecution on how the killing happened creates reasonable doubt.

Smith reminded the jury about testimony from law enforcement officers who admitted not testing certain evidence for DNA and not pursuing other leads.

“The state has to bear the burden of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Smith told the jury. “But in this case, once they had a person in custody, they quit looking. They quit testing.

(( Source:  KELOLAND TV ))

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