TN v David Swift: Karen Swift murder trial

Posted on May 29, 2024 at 7:43 am

DYER COUNTY, Tenn. (Court TV) – More than a decade after a mother of four was found dead in an abandoned cemetery, her husband is on trial accused of killing her.

split screen of David and Karen Swift

David Swift is accused of murdering his wife, Karen Swift, in 2011. (Dyer County Sheriff’s Office)

David Swift was charged with first-degree murder in 2022, 11 years after his wife, Karen Swift, disappeared.

Karen was reported missing to the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office on October 30, 2011. David was reportedly the last person to see her alive when she returned home from a Halloween party that evening.

Investigators found her car with a torn tire near her home, WMC reported. Six weeks later, on December 10, her body was found in an abandoned cemetery. An autopsy report provided to Court TV said she died of “blunt force trauma to the head.”

When he was arrested in 2022, David had remarried and was living in Alabama. He was released on a $200,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

David faces separate charges in Alabama, where he is accused of stalking his second wife, from whom he is divorced, reported.


DAY 1 – 28/05/24

  • In his opening statement, prosecutor Danny Goodman admitted that the jury did not want to hear any testimony about forensic evidence linking David Swift to his wife’s death, but argued that his actions and his desire to control his wife left him in linked to her death. They also point to lies they say he told police about the night Karen disappeared and his actions while she was missing.
  • Defense attorney Daniel Taylor told jurors that David Swift did not kill his wife. He said David Swift could not have physically killed her because he had a bad knee that he had re-injured in the days before Karen’s death. Taylor also pointed out the lack of forensic evidence linking David to the crime, saying that if he had murdered Karen in such a brutal manner, evidence would have remained. He also characterized Karen’s friendship with Cathy and Bill as risky behavior.
  • WATCH: Karen Swift Murder Trial: Day 1 Recap

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