Confession cancels DeWild retrial

Daniel Norman DeWild stood in court on Dec. 20, and confessed to killing his estranged wife nine years ago.
Prosecutors had charged DeWild, 40, with first-degree murder, saying he lured his wife into his Edgewater home, hit her in the head with a hammer and hanged her from a rafter while he wrapped her body in plastic.
“Mr. DeWild, is that true, did you do that?” Judge Christopher J. Munch asked the defendant.
“Yes, sir,” DeWild responded.
A trial in November ended with a mixed verdict for DeWild. The jury found him guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, but could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charge of first-degree murder.
A re-trial had been scheduled to begin in January on the murder charge, until Thursday’s plea deal, which saw DeWild confess in open court to second-degree murder for the killing of Heather DeWild, in exchange for a total prison sentence of between 72 to 75 years. DeWild is currently in county jail, and will be formally sentenced on Feb. 28. According to District Attorney’s Office Investigator David Dechant, DeWild will not be eligible for parole for at least 27 years.
“Our office, we oppose parole, believing that the convicted should serve their sentence,” Dechant said.
First Judicial District District Attorney Scott Storey began a task force to break the cold case in 2005 after Heather DeWild’s parents met with him.
“It was the effort of so many (investigators and prosecutors) and the patience of the Springer family,” Storey said. “Today we got some justice for Heather DeWild.”
Daniel DeWild’s twin brother, David DeWild, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, and testified against his brother. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.
David’s wife, Mary Roseanne DeWild, was also charged with murder in investigators initial indictment, but later had all charges against her dropped as investigators came to believe she had little to no knowledge of the crime.
Heather DeWild’s father, David Springer, said hearing a confession from Daniel DeWild was the best thing to happen in the course of the investigation and prosecution, “because we got the words out of his own mouth.”
The plea agreement also spares the family from going through another trial.
“It was emotional and heart-wrenching, and the thought of going through that again was tough,” said Rebecca Barger, Heather DeWild’s sister.
dewild, edgewater


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