By Jonathan Ellis
The end of Daphne Wrightâ€™s grueling murder trial brought happiness to three of Darlene VanderGiesenâ€™s friends, who were interviewed by the Argus Leader through an interpreter.
The murder, they said, shocked the tight-knit deaf community in Sioux Falls.
Though pleased with the outcome, friends said VanderGiesenâ€™s death left an unfillable void.
â€œI just canâ€™t believe sheâ€™s gone,â€ Monique Lyon-Boothe said.
â€œWe want her back so bad.â€
Laura Linton, who played on a softball team with VanderGiesen, described her as a sweet woman who liked to joke around. She was popular in the community. Wright, on the other hand, was isolated and not well known among deaf people.
â€œWhen I heard about this I was so confused, and I couldnâ€™t believe what was going on,â€ Linton said.
Dianna Beverly said it was still difficult for many to accept that VanderGiesen was gone.
â€œWe feel like sheâ€™s still going to be around,â€ Beverly said.
The penalty phase in Wrightâ€™s trial begins Tuesday. She faces the death penalty.
When asked how they wanted it to end, the three women said it was up to the jury.
Beverly and Lyon-Boothe said they believe the death penalty is appropriate, given the brutality of the murder. Linton didnâ€™t know.
â€œWhether we do life or death, Iâ€™m not sure,â€ Linton said. â€œI definitely think it needs to be a severe punishment.â€
VanderGiesenâ€™s sister and brother-in-law, Sandra and Jeffrey Sidford, expressed relief at the guilty verdict. Both, however, say that Wrightâ€™s fate should be up to the jury.
â€œIâ€™m satisfied today,â€ Jeffrey Sidford said. â€œWhat the answer is, I cannot say.â€
(( Source:Â Argus Leader ))