SEATTLE - The jury begins deliberations Thursday in the fate of a Lynnwood man accused of the strangulation death of his wife in 2006.
David Pietz has been on trial for two weeks.
The jury received the case Wednesday after closing arguments, but jurors were sent home before they could start to deliberate.
David Pietz, 36, sat without expression as his lawyer, David Allen, reiterated their position that Pietz’s wife was killed by an unknown drug dealer or dangerous criminal.
Allen explained to the jury why he believes none of the evidence presented during the murder trial proves the Lynnwood man killed his wife.
“This should raise, many, many reasonable doubts in this case,” said Allen.
Most of that doubt surrounds Nicole Pietz's acquisition of prescription painkillers from her doctor in the months before her death because of a back injury. Nicole Pietz was a recovering prescription drug addict.
“She did fall off the wagon very, very badly,” said Allen.
Friends and family of Nicole Pietz said she was not using again and she took her sobriety very seriously.
During closing arguments, the prosecution shot holes in the theory that some unknown drug dealer or dangerous criminal killed the victim and placed her body beneath blackberry bushes in Burien without raping her.
“Nici was naked. If some robber or serial killer or drug dealer killed her, where are her clothes?” said King County Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Richardson.
Nicole Pietz was still wearing a night mouth guard -- proof, the prosecutor argued, that her husband killed her.
“She didn’t wear this out of the house. It was in her mouth because she was asleep when her husband came home and killed her. This is a little thing that is huge,” said Richardson.
Richardson placed the blame squarely on David Pietz, who she said was tired of his wife and her eight years of sobriety, so he killed her during a heated argument.
Nicole Pietz was on her way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting the night she disappeared. She never made it to the meeting.
“The long search for justice in this case is over. Nicole literally lost her voice that night when he put his hands around her neck and squeezed. But her voice is in this courtroom today,” said Richardson.
During closing arguments the courtroom was packed with Nicole Pietz's family and friends. Nicole Pietz's sister told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Amy Clancy that not one person in the gallery was from David Pietz's side of the family.