Prosecution and defense rest in David Pietz murder trial: 'Smoking gun' is diamond bracelet

by: Amy Clancy Updated:


KING COUNTY, Wash. - After more than two weeks of testimony, both the state and the defense rested late Tuesday afternoon in the murder trial of David Pietz.

The state's case, presented by King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Carla Carlstrom and Kristin Richardson, took nine and a half days. Pietz's defense team of David Allen and Cooper Offenbecher called just three witnesses.

The only new witness called by the defense was Nicole Pietz's physician, who testified that the 32-year-old Lynnwood woman had injured her back and was in great pain in the months before she died. Dr. Carol Waymack told the jury that Nicole Pietz came into her office repeatedly for prescription painkillers between December of 2005 and Jan. 26, 2006.

"She, by that time had had enough narcotics prescribed to her that she may well be addicted again. But of necessity because of her pain."

Dr. Waymack also testified that she'd known since 2001 that Nicole Pietz was a recovering prescription drug addict, and took that into consideration when prescribing medications.

PHOTOS: Timeline of Nicole Pietz case

David Pietz is charged with strangling his wife in late January of 2006. He did not take the stand in his own defense. Pietz's lawyers hoped to raise the question that Nicole might have slid back into addiction, which somehow lead to her death.

On Tuesday, one of the prosecution's last witnesses provided what could be considered the trial's "smoking gun:" a diamond tennis bracelet. When Nicole Pietz disappeared nearly eight years ago, her husband of four years apparently told investigators that his then-missing wife would most likely be wearing the tennis bracelet he had given her. But according to prosecutors, David Pietz had the bracelet all along, and asked a co-worker to appraise it months before his arrest in March of 2012.

That co-worker, Ashley Cowart, testified about the day she appraised it, and tried it on, back in late 2011: "He started laughing as if someone had said a joke. And he goes, 'Oh my gosh, that's so weird.' And I looked up and said, 'What?' And he said 'You're wearing my dead wife's bracelet.'"

Cowart also testified that when David Pietz told her his wife had been murdered years prior, he shrugged his shoulders and said "I'm over it."

Closing arguments are expected on Wednesday. Then the case will go to the jury.

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