Jurors in Wright case to see dismembered body photos

By Josh Verges

Jurors in the capital murder case against Daphne Wright will view photographs this afternoon of Darlene VanderGiesen’s dismembered body.

Forensic pathologist Brad Randall testified this morning that marks on the victim’s pelvis were “similar to those produced by a chainsaw.”Prosecutors allege Wright killed VanderGiesen by suffocation or a blow to the head on Feb. 1, 2006, then used a small chainsaw to dismember her two days later.Randall will use photographs from an autopsy and a pig-versus-chainsaw demonstration to aid his testimony as he returns to the stand this afternoon.

Defense attorney Jeff Larson asked Judge Brad Zell to keep the state from introducing some of the photos. One showing VanderGiesen’s open eyes and mouth and others depicting the dismembered middle- and upper-body would only serve to “inflame the passions” of the jurors, he said.

Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Dave Nelson said the pictures will show what words can’t explain.

“It’s one thing to describe what a witness sees, but … purpose of the pictures is to help the jury understand what happened in the case,” he said.

“There is obviously another purpose,” Larson replied, “which is to get the jury shocked by the photos of a body that has been in a ditch for a number of months.”

Zell ruled all nine photos admissible, but agreed with the defense that showing jurors video of the pig dismemberment would be “unfairly prejudicial.”

Nelson said it would show how surprisingly easy it is to saw through a body with the 1.5 horsepower chainsaw.

(( Source: Argus Leader ))