:: KARE 11 TV | Deaf S.D. woman found guilty of murder in dismemberment case ::

Deaf S.D. woman found guilty of murder in dismemberment case


April 12, 2007
By Carson Walker, Associated Press Writer

A Sioux Falls woman accused of killing and dismembering another deaf woman has been convicted of first-degree felony murder, first-degree premeditated murder and kidnapping.

Daphne Wright, 43, cried as the verdict was read early Thursday afternoon.

Jurors now will consider whether to sentence her to death by lethal injection.

Witnesses will begin testifying in the death penalty phase of the case on Tuesday.

Wright abducted Darlene VanderGiesen, 42, killed her and dismembered her body early last year.

Prosecutors said Wright was jealous of VanderGiesen because of her platonic friendship with Wright’s former lover, who had broken up with Wright. The jealousy turned to rage that drove Wright to kidnap VanderGiesen, kill her, cut apart the body with a chain saw and burn it, according to the prosecution.

VanderGiesen’s remains were found in the Sioux Falls landfill and a Hills, Minn., ditch. Her parents have since buried her at her hometown of Rock Valley, Iowa.

Jury selection started March 5 and ended March 28. Prosecutors then called witnesses over five days, but defense lawyers took only Tuesday to present their case.

The jury got the case late Wednesday afternoon and returned the verdict shortly after noon on Thursday.

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