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By John Dowd 

Trial begins in T. Falls


January 14, 2021

John Dowd

Danielle Wood (right), the former Thompson Falls resident charged in the murder of her ex-boyfriend, appears in court at the start of her trial on Tuesday.

by John Dowd

The trial of former Thompson Falls resident Danielle Wood began Tuesday with opening arguments by the prosecution and defense attorneys.

Prosecutors introduced themselves and their approaches for the trial, stating they intend to convince the jury of eight women and four men that Wood premeditated the 2018 murder of Matthew LaFriniere, 51 of Thompson Falls. In opening statements, prosecutors said Wood purchased the firearm prior to the murder and a disposable cell phone in order to call into 911 and create a distraction to law enforcement. The defense proposed that Wood is in fact innocent. They proposed that it is highly unlikely that Wood was able to leave her residence, commit the murder, hide the body and return to a gathering she was holding at the time within the allotted 30 minutes witnesses report her having been absent from the gathering. She also appeared back at her residence not disheveled, bloody or sweating after having supposedly dragging a piece of heavy plywood nearly 40 yards and having moved the body of the victim more than 14 feet, defense attorneys stated.

Prosecutors began calling witnesses today. The case is being held in 20th District Judicial Court at the Sanders County Courthouse with Judge Deborah "Kim" Christopher. The trial is expected to last more than a week.


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