Jury Chosen for Wright Trial

A jury has been chosen and opening statements are scheduled Monday in the murder and kidnapping trial of Daphne Wright, who could face the death penalty if convicted.

Wright, 43, is accused of kidnapping and killing Darlene VanderGiesen, 42, in Sioux Falls last year. The trial is expected to take three to four weeks.

Jury selection, which concluded Tuesday, took three weeks because the case had a number of complicating factors that raised issues of bias among potential jurors.

Wright is black, deaf and a lesbian. The state’s decision to seek the death penalty also was a factor.

Wright is accused of killing VanderGiesen and dismembering the body.

VanderGiesen, who also was deaf, disappeared Feb. 1, 2006. Parts of her body were found in the Sioux Falls landfill and in a ditch near Beaver Creek, Minn.

In a videotaped police interview, Wright said she and VanderGiesen had fought weeks earlier because Wright suspected VanderGiesen of trying to break up Wright’s relationship with another woman.

(( Source: AP Newswire ))