Prosecutor: Pierce Co. detective had relationship with widow of victim

by: Amy Clancy Updated:

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. —

Court documents said a Pierce County detective had a relationship with the widow of a victim in a homicide he was assigned to. 

Forty-eight-year-old Denny Wood is a 21-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, a detective who has worked homicide, robbery and rape cases successfully for years.

In June of 2012, he was assigned to a homicide.

According to sealed documents given to KIRO 7, within weeks after the  homicide, Wood had a sexual relationship with the victim's widow, identified only as "M.G."

Those documents, filed by defense attorney Michael Schwartz, question how Wood can be trusted to testify in any of the cases he investigates because of the improper relationship, and because Wood received an email from a fellow law enforcement officer who said M.G. had been having an affair with an individual who was suspected of killing M.G.'s husband.

According to Schwartz's filing, Wood did not document his knowledge of M.G.'s sexual relationship with the suspect, despite the fact that spousal infidelity is often an obvious motive in a homicide case.

Even though there's a possible suspect, that homicide is still unsolved.

KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy asked Schwartz, "Is it safe to say that a homicide suspect might still be out there because Detective Wood didn't do his job?"

"That may very well be the case," said Schwartz.

Scwhartz didn't leak the documents to KIRO 7, but he did file them on behalf of an unrelated assault suspect, who was eventually convicted. In that case, the prosecution did not call Wood. The lead investigator to testify, Schwartz believes – because of the suspicion that now surrounds him.

"I think any subjective person looking at this would say, 'Look, this particular detective, there are some significant credibility issues," Schwartz said.

In fact, some blame Wood's credibility for the recent delays in the murder trial of 21-year-old Tyler Savage, who was charged with raping and murdering Kimmie Daily three years ago.  Wood worked that case too. The prosecutor stands by it.

"Detective Wood actually did a good job investigating this case and our evidence remains solid. As for the collateral issues, we followed the law of course. We play by the rules and we've turned over the potential impeachment material to the defense," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Meanwhile, Wood has been on paid administrative leave since January.

"There is an internal investigation going on, and it's done and it's working its way up the chain per procedure so the results are still pending until the sheriff sees it," said Detective Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.