DENVER (CBS4) – A man accused of murdering his estranged wife has been found guilty on two related counts, but the jury could not reach a verdict on the murder charge.
Daniel Donald DeWild was being tried for first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Heather Jean DeWild. Her decomposed body was found buried along U.S. Highway 6 on Sept. 4, 2003. Her body was wrapped in trash bags and duct tape.
Daniel DeWild’s identical twin, David Norman DeWild, has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and will likely be sentenced after his brother’s trial. He testified against his brother during the trial.
The jury deliberated for a day and a half. During that time the jury had five questions for the judge, with four of them coming on Monday. They did decide that Daniel did conspire with his brother to kill Heather. But when the time came to decide if he was actually the person who committed the murder, the jury was hung.
The DeWilds were about one week away from finalizing their divorce when Heather turned up missing.
Prosecutors claim Daniel and his twin brother, David, planned the murder together and on July 24, 2003, lured her into the garage of his Edgewater home.
Court documents also state Heather was lured to Daniel’s home with her two children, then ages three and five, under false pretenses.
It was there that prosecutors say Daniel used a rubber mallet to hit Heather in the head. They say he put a noose around her neck, hung her, tied her hands and covered her body in tape, then wrapped her in plastic trash bags.
“Everything that I heard and everything that had happened, you know, I think he should have been found guilty if he really did this,” David’s wife Rosanne DeWild said outside of court on Monday.
She said she thinks Daniel committed the murder.
“It’s just with all of the evidence and everything,” she said.
Prosecutors told the jury that Daniel’s brother David was responsible for getting rid of Heather’s body which he dumped near some large dirt mounds off Highway 6 near Golden.
The defense argues that David came forward with this wealth of information this past summer, claiming he wanted to bring closure to the case and the family.
The defense said David is scared that he will spend the rest of his life in prison, so he has lied and tried to place as much of the blame as possible on his brother, Daniel.
Both the defense and the prosecution believe the verdict will hinge on David’s testimony.