Category Archives: Wright Case

Wright Trial: Coroners’ Opinions Clash

By Lou Raguse

A key witness for Daphne Wright, a forensic scientist from Rapid City, testified that he disagrees with the Minnehaha County Coroner’s analysis of how Darlene VanderGiesen died.

Coroner Brad Randall testified Monday that VanderGiesen died as the result of a skull fracture, suffocation, or both. The prosecution’s theory is that Wright hit VanderGiesen over the head then put a plastic bag over it to make sure she dies.

But Dr. Don Habbe, who performs autopsies in Rapid City, says the fracture alone caused death. The defense is using that opinion to support their theory that VanderGiesen accidentally fell down the stairs in Wright’s home and hit her head on a pillar.

Habbe says the lack of bleeding on the brain leads him to believe VanderGiesen died immediately after suffering the skull fracture.

The prosecution is re-calling Randall to testify, then Habbe is expected to testify again.

(( Source:  KELOLAND TV ))