To prosecutors, David Pietz's story is completely unbelievable. Several times during closing arguments on Wednesday they summed it up in one word.
“Really?” asked prosecutor Kristin Richardson. Richardson told jurors that Pietz wanted out of his marriage, and in a fit of rage strangled his wife Nicole in January of 2006.
“We know he is an extraordinarily cold and callous man,” she said. “The kind of man who does something just like this.”
Nicole Pietz was a recovering addict who had been sober for eight years. She had become much more conservative, and didn’t like her husband’s proclivity for partying. Prosecutors said Pietz wanted her to be wilder, at one point he dosed his wife’s drink with the drug ecstasy in order to have sex with her in a night club. A mistress testified he cheated on his wife, but when he was interviewed by police, Pietz told them he had no sex drive.
“I don't have much of a libido. Really?” said an incredulous Richardson.
Pietz told different stories about the night of his wife's disappearance to different people and never actively helped in the search for her body. He also refused to testify in his own defense.
However, defense attorneys argued the secret to who killed Nicole lies with her. They said she had been prescribed hundreds of painkillers for a back problem, but the medical examiner only found a trace in her system. They suggested the former addict may have gotten caught up in the drug game again.
“It's possible she had friends from the recovery house she was in after she went through treatment that have fallen off the wagon and she's sharing drugs with them,” said attorney David Allen. “There are a lot of possibilities there.”
David Pietz's best defense may ultimately be that there is nothing that proves he killed his wife. The case is entirely circumstantial. While prosecutors told jurors it all adds up to a “mountain” of evidence ending in Pietz’s guilt, Allen said they have simply presumed him guilty.
“Even if we can't prove the case we don’t need to because we know he's a bad guy,” he said. “Let’s just convict him.”