Death penalty phase in Daphne Wright trial could end Tuesday

Wright will not testify, her lawyers says

After being convicted of kidnapping and premeditated murder, Daphne Wright’s life could be in the jury’s hands by the end of today.

Defense lawyer Jeff Larson said in court Monday that he will call only three significant witnesses today in hopes of persuading 11 women and one men to sentence the 43-year-old Sioux Falls woman to life in prison without parole.

They are a psychologist, a law professor who specializes in deaf issues and Wright’s mother. Wright herself will not testify.

Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Dave Nelson said he should need one hour to make his case, plus another 30 minutes for argument.

He must prove that Wright’s crimes and the ensuing chain-saw dismemberment of 42-year-old Darlene VanderGiesen’s body were “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind or an aggravated battery to the victim.”

If the jury finds that aggravating factor exists, they will then decide whether Wright should get life in prison or death by injection.

(( Source:  Argus Leader ))

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