Wright’s lawyer: Evidence won’t prove kidnapping, slaying

By Josh Verges

The defense for accused killer Daphne Wright is in the details.

In opening statements this morning, Minnehaha County Public Defender
Traci Smith implored jurors to “listen closely” to the state’s
evidence.

It won’t prove kidnapping or premeditated murder, she said.

State’s Attorney Dave Nelson spent 50 minutes outlining his case.
Except for an argument and insulting e-mails Wright sent to the
victim, much of what he said concerned what happened to Darlene
VanderGiesen after her death.

A coroner determined that VanderGiesen died Feb. 1 of either a single
blow to the head, which fractured her skull, or suffocation. The
42-year-old woman’s body parts were found in multiple locations and
partially burned; a bag was cinched over her head.

Smith said the state has no evidence, only speculation, that
VanderGiesen was kidnapped or that her death was intentional. What
happened to her body after death is irrelevant, she said.

“The state’s witnesses will tell you she died on Feb. 1, 2006. But
most of the evidence that will be presented to you will be as to what
happened to her body at least two days later,” Smith said in her
15-minute opening.

The first witness will be called to testify after a long lunch break.

(( Source:  Argus Leader ))