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Wood's trial moved to July


February 20, 2020

The homicide trial for Danielle Wood has been rescheduled to July 20. District Court Judge Deborah "Kim" Christopher on Tuesday set the new trial date after consulting with defense attorney Kirk Krutilla and prosecutor Dan Guyzinski, with the state Attorney General's office.

Wood appeared by video conference from the Lake County courthouse on Tuesday.

"This case is uniquely different than anything I've had, with four attorneys going through," Judge Christopher stated in regard to the attorneys Wood has had since her arrest in March 2019. "Cases go better if everybody is ready to go to trial. My goal is that whatever we do be right."

"Given the time frames and complexity of the case, we're not off with a July trial," Guyzinski said.

Judge Christopher states that Wood did not agree with the motion to continue the trial, but she said she felt counsel needed additional time. Krutilla added that the defense is waiting for reports from experts in the case. "I don't think we're anywhere close to doing an adequate defense at this time," Krutilla said.

Wood has been in the Lake County Jail since her arrest on March 20, 2019. She is charged with deliberate homicide in the death of Matthew LaFriniere of Thompson Falls, Wood's former boyfriend.

LaFriniere was found dead at his home east of Thompson Falls on May 3, 2018, after he did not show up for work.

Wood was living and working in Polson at the time of her arrest.

Wood's trial was originally set for April 1. Attorneys on Tuesday said they expect the trial to last one to two weeks.

Also in District Court on Tuesday, Daniel Davis entered not guilty pleas to six felonies and one misdemeanor. The charges come from two separate traffic stops for the Plains man. Judge Christopher set a trial date of June 1 for Davis, who is facing felony charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted person and a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Attorneys reached a plea agreement for defendant Karl McGraw, who on Tuesday changed his plea to guilty for a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. McGraw admitted to his third offense and sentencing is set for April 7. McGraw was arrested in August 2019 after Montnaa Highway Patrol responded to a single vehicle crash on Highway 417 near Thompson Falls.

Eugene Germain changed his plea to guilty on two charges of felony theft. Germain admitted to taking two vehicles on May 19 of last year, a 2007 Dodge truck and a 2014 Ford F150. Attorney Britt Cotter said Germain has already pleaded guilty to felony charges in another county and has pending charges in two additional counties.

Judge Christopher set sentencing for Germain for April 21.


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