Burien

After nearly 7 years, Lynnwood man goes to trial in wife's murder

After nearly 7 years, Lynnwood man goes to trial in wife's murder
SEATTLE -- He was the prime suspect from day one, but it took nearly seven years of sifting through evidence to bring a Lynnwood man to trial for the murder of his wife.

Nicole Pietz's body turned up in the woods of Burien in 2006, and on Thursday her husband David finally went before a jury to face charges that he killed her.

In opening statements, prosecutor Carla Carlstrom said the case will take time to prove, saying the defendant left behind very little evidence and concealed the rest.

"The defendant did all the right things when he murdered his wife," Carlstrom said.

She went on to explain how David Pietz wasn't happy in his marriage and had been caught cheating on his wife. She said when he didn't get a promotion at work, he came home one night in January of 2006 and the couple fought.

"He was upset about his lack of promotion and they argued. At some point his temper boiled over and he strangled her to death," Carlstrom said.

Pietz's defense team said the prosecution has no eye witness and built a flimsy case on questionable DNA and wild theories.

"It's not based on any direct evidence and it's not going to show that David Pietz took Nicole's life," said attorney Connor Offenbecher.

Pietz claims he came home on the night in question, said goodnight to his wife, and only learned she was gone the next morning.

"The argument that there was some kind of argument or struggle at the condo is pure speculation," Offenbecher said.

Investigators considered David Pietz a suspect from almost the start, but only gathered enough evidence to arrest him in 2012. It was a tortuous wait for Nicole's family and friends, and they hope prosecutors can finally bring them some answers.

"The only way is for them to go through their process and for us to stay out of it and hope that justice is made," said Shelley Sexton.

The trial will resume on Monday, and prosecutors plan to spend a lot of time on David's alleged infidelity. They'll also accuse David of spiking his wife's non-alcoholic drinks with ecstasy, despite that fact that she had been clean and sober for eight years.