|  November 20, 2013

'Secrets in Seattle' part 6

The defense argues that Nicole was the one hiding a dark secret, not David. And the jury renders its verdict.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> rows of nicole pietz's family and friends listened to the prosecution describe the accused as an oversexed, run-around louse of a husband. a guy who left her to rot in a scrubby bog.

>> we know how she died. we know how he lied.

>> each day, david pietz remained emotionless in court. and few if any family or friends showed up in the rows behind him to have his back. but he did have supporters, like kim adams , a friend from church.

>> he does have a very strong network of friends and people who care about him and love him.

>> she says team dave chose to back him quietly from outside the courthouse, hoping to avoid the many cameras both in and outside the courtroom.

>> i have a lot of respect for those people that didn't go. he knows who loves him.

>> she watched the news in disbelief, not recognizing the man prosecutors described as a cold-hearted killer. surely, this wasn't the dave she had known for almost seven years. her trusted confidante.

>> i kept thinking about myself, they're talking about my friend, but that's not my friend. that's not the friend that i know.

>> but in court, his defense team would not call on kim and the silent friends as character witnesses. the defense was mounting a stripdown argument. jurors, there's nothing here. nici left the condo that morning, and dave had no idea where she ended up.

>> nicole pietz was missing. and her husband, david pietz, never saw her again. what happened to nicole is a mystery.

>> after ten days of trial, with more than 40 witnesses, the state, the defense lawyers argued, had failed to produce a smoking gun or even a plausible motivation for murder.

>> in this case, there are many reasonable doubts.

>> could anyone say with absolutely certainty that she always wore her wedding ring ? that she never went out in public with her retainer? the picture of the defense portrayed was of a david pietz open and honest with detectives right from the start. a husband hoping the police would locate his wife. detective kathleen decker took the stand.

>> when you first saw david at his residence, i believe you described him as very anxious and upset.

>> yes.

>> the defense willingly conceded that david pietz was a crumby husband. but skirt-chasing didn't give him a motive for murder.

>> dave pietz isn't the first guy to step out on his spouse. all of you, certainly, know of people that have done that. have they killed their wives or husbands or anything like that?

>> and the defense countered, that if anyone had secrets to hide, it wasn't dave . it was nici .

>> there's another side to all this.

>> the defense now turned the focus to nicole pietz, and the last few weeks of her life.

>> raise your right hand.

>> the lawyers called to the stand their main witness, nici 's doctor, carol waymac, nici 's primary physician for five years.

>> you knew nici 's history, that she had trouble has a young woman .

>> i did.

>> and had actually been in rehab at one point.

>> and we had talked about it throughout her care with me.

>> so when nici came into the office complaining of severe back pain at the end of 2005 , doctor waymac said she had nici 's past addiction in mind. the doctor testified that she did put nici on pain medication . but said she tightly mitored nici 's weekly prescription, right down to counting the number of pills.

>> on january 12th , she got 56. on january 18th , she got 56. and on january 26th , she got 56.

>> nici was getting hundreds of pills, but the defense reminded the jurors that nici 's toxicology report had shown something unusual. despite being prescribed all those pills, the forensic scientists said she apparently hadn't been taking many of them.

>> is it your opinion that this just reflects like a one- time use ?

>> i believe so. it's such a small amount.

>> almost no drugs in her system meant something was very fishy, said the defense .

>> nicole was lying to her doctor.

>> she was doing something with those drugs other than taking them.

>> so what was she doing with them?

>> infer recognitionly, circumstancely, you could find she was out giving these drugs away, giving them away to old friends of hers, coming into contact with drug users and dealers, pretty tough people, pretty dangerous.

>> the lurid story may never be known, argued the defense . they said it was clear that nici and not dave had something to hide.

>> something went terribly, terribly wrong, and she died as a result. that it wasn't david , but it was somebody else.

>> now it would be up to a jury to decide. a husband who never loved his wife, who lost it on one very bad night. or a woman with an addiction she never beat, and some final hour, doling out narcotic pain killers to the wrong person. at the courthouse, the jury retired to deliberate. kim adams waited at home for news.

>> kind of made a promise to myself to support him, no matter what the verdict was. because i feel he would do the same for me.

>> as the hours went by, nici 's family prayed. and the prosecutors replayed the case in their heads.

>> i felt like there was absolutely nothing we missed in closing or in presentation.

>> but that's not to say when they're out deliberating you're not wondering every second what's going on, and whether you're going to succeed.

>> please be seated, with the exception of the presiding juror.

>> and then, more than seven and a half years since nici 's body had been found, the jury was coming back with a verdict.

>> we, the jury, find the defendant, martin david pietz, guilty of the crime of murder in the second degree, as charged. signed by the presiding juror. is this the verdict of the jury?

>> yes, it is.

>> david pietz, guilty of second degree murder for strangling nici , his wife of almost four years.

>> oh. absolutely elation. i just wanted justice for my daughter. and we got it.

>> what do you want to say to david pietz now?

>> david , i hope -- i hope you find it in your heart toe sorry. because if you don't, you'll burn in hell forever.

>> earlier this month, david pietz returned to court for his sentencing. presiding judge michael haden expressed disgust that david had strangled his wife, who trusted him.

>> i don't know what was going through her head as she looked into the face of the man she thought she loved as he took her life away. accordingly, the sentence will be --

>> judge haden sentenced david pietz to 18 years in prison, the maximum time allowed in this second degree murder case. before her daughter's convicted murder was led away, nicole 's mother had this to say.

>> i've let david take my life for the last seven and a half years. but i'm not going to anymore. david , i forgive you. i'm not going to allow myself to let you rule my life anymore.

>> but gayle says she would still like to ask her former son-in-law a final question.

>> i wish david would tell me why. and how could he ever harm such a nice person. i mean, nici was -- was such a good person.

>> the hardest question, always the why. the coldest fact, the young woman gone too soon.