Grass Valley man pleads not guilty in death of wife |

Grass Valley man pleads not guilty in death of wife

Dennis Michael Daly

A 72-year-old Grass Valley man has pleaded not guilty of murder in the death of his wife, Stacey Sokol Daly.

Dennis Daly appeared in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday, pleading not guilty to murder and denying enhancements related to a previous out-of-county conviction. He is set to return to court Dec. 19 and remained Thursday in custody without bail.

Authorities have said that his wife — 63-year-old Stacey Daly — died Nov. 2 after lapsing into a coma caused by being repeatedly punched in the face and head by Dennis Daly.

Grass Valley police had responded to the Daly residence several times on Oct. 30, initially for a third-party report of domestic violence. Stacey Daly was reluctant to talk to police but called later that night to report her husband was drunk and had struck her numerous times in the head and face with a closed fist, police said.

Dennis Daly was arrested on a spousal abuse charge and was served with an emergency protective order, but his wife reportedly refused medical treatment.

On Oct. 31, Stacey Daly sought treatment, but left against medical advice even though hospital staff felt she had a severe brain injury, according to police. Officers conducting a welfare check on the hospital’s request took her back for treatment and she was flown to Mercy San Juan Medical Center.

Daly, who had been released from custody on a $25,000 bond, was re-booked Oct. 31 on a no-bail warrant for attempted murder. He was set to enter a plea Nov. 7, but that was deferred after prosecutors amended his charge to murder.

“We waited on charging murder until the autopsy was completed, and we were able to confirm what we suspected: That the victim’s death was caused as a result of the domestic violence injuries,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said.

The amended complaint against Dennis Daly includes enhancements relating to a prior conviction, Walsh said. The same prior conviction is listed twice for two different reasons. Both would increase his sentence, if a jury found them to be true.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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