Heather DeWild’s Family Calls Split Verdict Bittersweet
DENVER (CBS4) – A jury came back with a split verdict for a man accused of killing his estranged wife in 2003.
Daniel Donald DeWild was on trial for murdering his wife, Heather Jean DeWild, just days before their divorce would be final. Now a retrial has already been scheduled.
Jurors in Jefferson County found Daniel DeWild guilty on two counts, including one that he conspired with his identical twin brother, David Norman DeWild, to kill Heather. But they were deadlocked on the most serious charge of first-degree murder.
Heather’s family was still somewhat relieved despite the deadlock on the murder charge because the guilty verdicts carry a sentence of up to 50 years in prison.
“There’s never going to be justice, not completely,” Heather’s sister Rebecca Barger said.
Heather’s father, David Springer, says the verdict is bittersweet.
“Over all the years I’ve been thinking about this case I have never come up with a punishment that is adequate for the harm this has caused to my family, friends and relatives,” Springer said.
During the trial the family heard graphic testimony from Daniel’s brother, David, about how Daniel bludgeoned Heather with a rubber mallet then hanged her in his Edgewater garage.
“It was difficult, but the truth is better than not knowing,” Barger said.
“A little gruesome and hard to deal with, but after all this time I’ve never heard of a nice murder,” Springer said.
David pleaded guilty to conspiracy and faces up to 12 years in prison. His wife, Roseanne DeWild, spent eight months behind bars before conspiracy charges against her were dropped. She told CBS4 she has little sympathy for her brother-in-law.
“From all I’ve seen he should have pleaded guilty if he really did it,” she said.
After nine years of pain Heather’s father says any justice is better than the alternative.
“I went a lot of years with very little hope at all,” Springer said. “Very frustrating, angry, and I’m glad to see we’ve got this far.”
The retrial on first-degree murder charges is set for Jan. 8. The district attorney’s office says they’ll consult with the family before deciding if that trail will take place.