Woman who stabbed husband 193 times wants shorter sentence

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on October 17, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 18 at 6:49 PM

HOUSTON  -- A woman who tied her husband to the bed, stabbed
him 193 times and buried his body in the backyard is lying when she
claims she did so after years of abuse, prosecutors told jurors
Monday during her sentencing hearing.
  
Susan Wright, 34, is being re-sentenced for the 2003 murder of
her 34-year-old husband, Jeffrey. She was initially sentenced to 25
years in prison, but the Texas Court of Appeals last year tossed
the sentence, agreeing with Wright that her trial lawyers were
deficient because they failed to present testimony from witnesses
that would have bolstered the abuse claims.
  
During her opening statement Monday, Harris County prosecutor
Connie Spence told jurors Wright lied about being physically abused
by her husband to try to justify the killing.
  
She said it was only after Wright killed her husband that she
began telling family and friends that she had been abused. Wright
even went to police and took out a restraining order against
Jeffrey Wright after stabbing him to promote her false story of
abuse, Spence said.
  
"There were 193 stab wounds inflicted from head to toe,"
Spence said. "There were wounds to the head, face, neck, chest,
abdomen, sexual organ, thighs. These were all inflicted to the
front of Jeffrey Wright's body ... consistent with somebody
restrained, on his back."
  
Prosecutors have said Wright tied her husband's ankles and
wrists to their bed before stabbing him at their Houston-area home
on Jan. 13, 2003. She buried his body in a backyard hole he had dug
for a fountain, and cleaned and painted the bedroom to cover up the
crime.
  
The couple's young son and daughter were asleep and didn't
witness the killing.
  
Wright's attorneys held off on their opening statement until the
prosecution presented its case. Before the trial began, state
District Judge Jim Wallace, at the request of prosecutors, asked
two of Wright's defense attorneys to remove ribbons they wore that
raise awareness of domestic violence.
  
Prosecutors contended at her 2004 trial that Wright killed her
husband because she wanted benefits from his $200,000 life
insurance policy and didn't want a divorce.
  
The punishment trial's first witness, Harris County Deputy Chief
Medical Examiner Dwayne Wolf, testified he found ligature marks on
both of Jeffrey Wright's wrists, signs he had been tied down. Wolf
also said that part of Jeffrey Wright's left hand, which had been
sticking out from where he had been buried, had been chewed off by
a dog.
  
Wolf detailed for jurors, through graphic photographs shown on a
large television screen, Jeffrey Wright's extensive stab wounds.
Wolf, who was the only witness on Monday, testified that tests
showed Jeffrey Wright had taken cocaine. Susan Wright has said her
husband was a cocaine and marijuana abuser.
  
When questioning Wolf, Jonathan Munier, Wright's attorney, tried
to suggest the cocaine in Jeffrey Wright's system could have made
him aggressive and that it might have been possible his client used
a knife against her husband in self-defense while the couple had
been standing in front of each other arguing.
  
Testimony was to resume Tuesday, with the hearing expected to
continue through the rest of the week.
  
Wright's 2004 trial was thrust into the spotlight when
prosecutors then handling the case demonstrated for jurors how they
believed Wright killed her husband. They set up Wright's bed and
bloodstained mattress in the courtroom. Jurors watched as one
prosecutor was tied to the bed while another prosecutor straddled
him and made stabbing motions.

Re-sentencing starts in Houston husband stabbed case

Associated Press

HOUSTON  -- A woman who tied her husband to the bed, stabbed
him 193 times and buried his body in the backyard is lying when she
claims she did so after years of abuse, prosecutors told jurors
Monday during her sentencing hearing.
  
Susan Wright, 34, is being re-sentenced for the 2003 murder of
her 34-year-old husband, Jeffrey. She was initially sentenced to 25
years in prison, but the Texas Court of Appeals last year tossed
the sentence, agreeing with Wright that her trial lawyers were
deficient because they failed to present testimony from witnesses
that would have bolstered the abuse claims.
  
During her opening statement Monday, Harris County prosecutor
Connie Spence told jurors Wright lied about being physically abused
by her husband to try to justify the killing.
  
She said it was only after Wright killed her husband that she
began telling family and friends that she had been abused. Wright
even went to police and took out a restraining order against
Jeffrey Wright after stabbing him to promote her false story of
abuse, Spence said.
  
"There were 193 stab wounds inflicted from head to toe,"
Spence said. "There were wounds to the head, face, neck, chest,
abdomen, sexual organ, thighs. These were all inflicted to the
front of Jeffrey Wright's body ... consistent with somebody
restrained, on his back."
  
Prosecutors have said Wright tied her husband's ankles and
wrists to their bed before stabbing him at their Houston-area home
on Jan. 13, 2003. She buried his body in a backyard hole he had dug
for a fountain, and cleaned and painted the bedroom to cover up the
crime.
  
The couple's young son and daughter were asleep and didn't
witness the killing.
  
Wright's attorneys held off on their opening statement until the
prosecution presented its case. Before the trial began, state
District Judge Jim Wallace, at the request of prosecutors, asked
two of Wright's defense attorneys to remove ribbons they wore that
raise awareness of domestic violence.
  
Prosecutors contended at her 2004 trial that Wright killed her
husband because she wanted benefits from his $200,000 life
insurance policy and didn't want a divorce.
  
The punishment trial's first witness, Harris County Deputy Chief
Medical Examiner Dwayne Wolf, testified he found ligature marks on
both of Jeffrey Wright's wrists, signs he had been tied down. Wolf
also said that part of Jeffrey Wright's left hand, which had been
sticking out from where he had been buried, had been chewed off by
a dog.
  
Wolf detailed for jurors, through graphic photographs shown on a
large television screen, Jeffrey Wright's extensive stab wounds.
Wolf, who was the only witness on Monday, testified that tests
showed Jeffrey Wright had taken cocaine. Susan Wright has said her
husband was a cocaine and marijuana abuser.
  
When questioning Wolf, Jonathan Munier, Wright's attorney, tried
to suggest the cocaine in Jeffrey Wright's system could have made
him aggressive and that it might have been possible his client used
a knife against her husband in self-defense while the couple had
been standing in front of each other arguing.
  
Testimony was to resume Tuesday, with the hearing expected to
continue through the rest of the week.
  
Wright's 2004 trial was thrust into the spotlight when
prosecutors then handling the case demonstrated for jurors how they
believed Wright killed her husband. They set up Wright's bed and
bloodstained mattress in the courtroom. Jurors watched as one
prosecutor was tied to the bed while another prosecutor straddled
him and made stabbing motions.

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