After hearing a full morning of testimony, and then an afternoon of closing arguments, a jury is set to begin deliberating the fate of an Abilene man accused of a Salina murder.
Jurors in a murder trial for Dane DeWeese, one of three people accused in the Spring 2013 disappearance and murder of 27-year-old Kristin Tyler, will begin deliberations early Tuesday morning. DeWeese is facing charges that include 1st degree murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.
During the trial Joel Heil, one of three co-defendant in the case, implicated DeWeese in the murder. Heil testified that he and DeWeese drove Tyler to a location in rural Saline County. Heil admitted to beating and strangling her, and accused DeWeese of helping hold her face in mud, and then in water as she died. Heil said the motive was that DeWeese suspected that Tyler stole drugs and money from him, and that she and a friend were possibly acting as confidential informants for the police.
DeWeese gave a much different version of what happened. He said that he did give a ride to Heil and Tyler the night she disappeared. He said that Heil had communicated to him that he needed a ride to go “on a run”, meaning that he needed a ride to go get some drugs. DeWeese say that he took Heil to a home in the Indian Village area, then went and got fuel in his vehicle. He says he then took Heil and Tyler back to Heil’s house and dropped them off. When asked if he killed Tyler DeWeese answered “absolutely not”.
During closing arguments prosecutor Christina Trocheck said that methamphetamine is a factor in destroying several lives in this case. She laid out a timeline of the night Tyler disappeared, telling jurors there is no doubt that DeWeese contributed to the murder by planning it, and then by ultimately holding Tyler’s face underwater.
Defense attorney Doug Thompson told jurors there are multiple problems with the case against DeWeese, which is built around testimony from multiple people deeply involved in the meth culture in Salina.
Jurors were instructed to elect a foreman Monday evening, and then were dismissed. They will report back to the court room Tuesday morning to begin deliberations.