Two murder trials

The trial has begun for Dennis Tetso, accused of murdering his wife Tracey Gardner-Tetso, who disappeared from Maryland in 2005. According to this Baltimore Sun article, Dennis was suspicious of Tracey and thought she was having an affair. (And, indeed, she was.) He did not participate in the search for her, and this article says he even ripped down missing person fliers for his wife. Way to look innocent.

This article has a picture of Dennis, though not a very good one. His defense is going with the “no body, no crime” gambit.

Meanwhile, in New York, Werner Lippe is going through his second trial in the presumed death of his wife, Faith, who went missing in 2008. There was a mistrial earlier this year when the jury was unable to reach a verdict. The couple’s children were 12 and 14 at the time of Faith’s disappearance. Their son, now 16, testified against his father. Lippe’s defense, like Dennis Tetso’s is playing up the reasonable doubt thing. A good quote from his attorney in this article: “You can’t convict someone on maybe.” But the fact that Werner actually confessed to a (wired) friend is a major strike against him.

Tracey Gardner-Tetso’s husband makes bail

Dennis Tetso, who’s accused of murdering his missing wife Tracey Gardner Tetso, has made bail and been released from jail pending his trial, which is scheduled for November 17. (They’ll probably postpone it, though. They usually do.) He’ll be wearing some kind of tracking device and he’ll be allowed to work.

The bail was only $50,000. For first-degree murder! Usually bail for that is like five or ten times that amount. Dennis has no criminal record, and he stuck around in the area for over four years after Tracey disappeared. But the low bail makes me wonder just how strong a case the prosecutors have. A weak case is one reason for a judge to grant a lower-than-usual bail: if a defendant feels he’s likely to be acquitted, he’ll probably stick around for the trial. In another article, Dennis’s defense attorney says the prosecution has “no witnesses, no confession, and no evidence.” Of course, defense lawyers often say such things, but even the prosecutor admits the case is circumstantial.

I don’t know whether Dennis Tetso is guilty, of course. But if he is, and they’ve charged him prematurely on insufficient evidence and he gets off as a result, well, that will be terrible. I hope the prosecutor knows what they’re doing.

Other articles:

Maryland Daily Record
WTOP 103.5
WBAL Baltimore (includes picture of Dennis)