Prosecutors in the nearly four-week trial of David Pietz are pointing to a lie-detector test he failed at the time of the alleged murder of his wife, as well as the second one he declined to take six years later when he was arrested in connection to the slaying.
Pietz, 34, is accused of killing his wife, 32-year-old Nicole Pietz, who vanished from her home in 2006 and was found strangled in a wooded area. Detectives with the King County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit arrested Pietz in March 2012 and charged him with second-degree murder.
The trial began Sept. 12.
That Pietz refused to take a second polygraph test won't be heard by the jury. But defense attorneys are now worried about testimony from a co-worker of Pietz, who said Pietz claimed that he called detectives every year to check in on the hunt for his wife's killer. Police deny the claim, saying they did not hear from him yearly.
Pietz has maintained his innocence, and his attorneys will begin arguing their side of the case later this week.
Monday was among the most difficult days in court for Nicole Pietz' family, when pictures of her battered body were shown to the jury.
Prosecutors tried to prove the injuries to her body show that she wasn't just strangled by a stranger on the street, as has been suggested by a witness, but by someone lying on top of her, as they believe her husband David was.
"That scenario could be consistent with the type of bruising that we're seeing," Medical Examiner Dr. Brian Mazrian told the court.
Prosecutors say David Pietz had been telling co-workers that he thought something must have happened to Nicole, who had previously battled addiction problems, while she was on the prowl for drugs. Nicole's co-worker Ashley Sauter said she agreed with that explanation.
"She was supposed to be going to an AA meeting, but that is what probably happened, a drug deal gone bad," Sauter told the court.
Toxicology results show Nicole had only small amounts of prescription drugs in her body and no signs of recent abuse, according to testimony.