Fate of accused wife killer now in jury's hands

SEATTLE -- The fate of accused wife killer David Pietz is now in the jury's hands. After hearing 12 days of testimony, 12 jurors must now decide if Pietz is a wife killer or a misunderstood man.

Nicole Pietz was strangled to death and dumped in the woods in Burien in 2006. Nobody saw it happen, but prosecutors claim her husband was clumsy in his coverup.

"We know how she died and we know how he lied," said prosecutor Kristen Richardson. "There are some crimes that make it easier to get away with murder. One of them is killing your wife in your house when nobody else is around."

David Pietz claims his wife disappeared, but in Richardson's closing argument, she told jurors it's the little things that pile up into a mountain of evidence against David Pietz, such as a his affairs, and a mouthguard found on his wife's body that she never left the house wearing.

"It was in her mouth because she had gone to bed when the defendant came home and killed her, and carried her naked out of the house... and put her body in the bushes," Richardson said.

Richardson also pointed out that there was medicine in Nicole Pietz's body that didn't have time to dissolve, and a calm call from David Pietz to 911 to report she was missing.

But David Pietz's defense attorney David Allen claimed his client was in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

"If he was on the phone call crying and shrieking, 'my wife's gone, oh my God!' and so forth, they would say he's faking it," Allen said.

As to why didn't David Pietz help distribute fliers when his wife disappeared or call his wife's phone more than twice?

"I suggest to you in this case there are many reasonable doubts," Allen said.

The defense painted a different portrait of the victim as a woman struggling with addiction. David Pietz repeatedly suggested his wife relapsed after eight years of sobriety.

"Something went terribly, terribly wrong and she died as a result," Allen said. "It wasn't David but somebody else."

Jury deliberations are set to begin first thing Thursday morning.