• David Pietz sentenced to more than 18 years for murdering wife, Nicole


    SEATTLE - Lynnwood man David Pietz, who was convicted of strangling his wife, Nicole, has been sentenced for second-degree murder.

    Pietz, who was convicted on Oct. 14, will spend 220 months, or more than 18 years, in prison.

    "This wasn't a standard murder second degree. This was close, personal and most aggravated," said Judge Michael Hayden.

    The standard sentencing range for the crime is 10 to 18 years.

    Nicole Pietz was on her way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting when she disappeared in 2006. Her doctor said she had been taking prescription painkillers in the months before her death because of a back injury.

    Her naked body was found in a wooded area in Burien, but her husband wasn’t arrested or charged until six years later.

    During David Pietz’s trial, his lawyers said they believed she had fallen “off the wagon,” which led to her death.

    PHOTOS: Timeline in Nicole Pietz murder case

    But the prosecution placed the blame squarely on David Pietz, saying he was tired of his wife and her eight years of sobriety, so he killed her during a heated argument. The trial uncovered that David Pietz had been sexually involved with several women while he was married, but told detectives that he “didn’t have much of a libido,” while he was being interviewed after his wife’s body was found.

    The defense tried to get a new judge for Thursday’s sentencing, saying Judge Hayden violated conduct by privately meeting with jurors after they reached a guilty verdict.

    The state called the motion baseless.

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