Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

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Normal Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by CarlysMommy on Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:50 am

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A US man is accused of decapitating and dismembering his disabled seven-year-old son and leaving the boy's head near the street so the child's mother would see it - a killing that brought seasoned police officers to tears.

Jeremiah Lee Wright, 30, of Thibodaux has confessed to killing Jori Lirette, Police Chief Scott Silverii said on Monday.

He said Wright was booked with first-degree murder and was held in lieu of a $US5 million ($A4.83 million) bond.

Silverii's spokesman, Detective Ricky Ross, said he does not believe Wright has a lawyer.

Silverii said the motive was unclear, though Wright told police "that he'd gotten to the point where he was tired of taking care" of the boy, who had cerebral palsy and heart problems, needed a feeding tube and was in a wheelchair.

"He said when he put his head out by the side of the road it was so the mother would see it when she came by," Silverii said.

He said Wright's only explanation for doing so was "just that he wanted her to feel stupid when she saw the head".

The police chief said Jori's feet and one hand also were cut off, recovered with the body in several white plastic garbage bags.

The slaying was the first in Thibodeaux since 2008.

Silverii said the boy apparently was decapitated over the kitchen sink, which was sent to the Louisiana State Police crime lab along with a box of tools found nearby.

An autopsy taking place on Monday in Jefferson Parish would identify when the child died and what was used to decapitate and dismember the boy, Silverii said.

Police had been called to the house last month when the couple had an argument - possibly about money - though neither person brought charges, Ross said.

The police chief said Wright had been arrested a few times previously, though he was never charged with violent crimes. Wright served 10 days for theft in 2005.

Lirette, 27, told The Daily Comet of Thibodaux she and Wright had been together for 10 years, but she had planned for some time to leave him.

"I didn't get out fast enough," she said.

She said she took her pick-up for repairs on Sunday morning so she could take Jori to an ear doctor on Tuesday in New Orleans, about a 75-minute drive.

She returned to a home blocked with police tape.

When she identified herself, Silverii had Ross, who had been her minister for 12 years and remains a lay pastor, and a captain tell her what happened to her son.
"These are experienced men. They came out of there in tears. Just absolutely in tears," Silverii said.
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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:02 pm

Man accused of decapitating son gets experienced death-penalty lawyer

pics of Jory:
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wwltv.com
Posted on August 16, 2011 at 11:12 AM
Updated today at 4:39 PM

Janet McConnaughey / Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Uniformed female sheriff's deputies held Jesslyn Lirette's hands as she walked to the courthouse Tuesday for her longtime boyfriend's first hearing on charges of killing and decapitating their disabled 7-year-old son.

Lafourche Parish deputies escorted Jeremiah Lee Wright, whose hands were manacled to his waist. He stared but did not speak when reporters and photographers asked if he had anything to say about
Jori Lirette's death.

Wright, 30, was assigned defense attorney Kerry Cuccia, director of the Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana at the hearing, which was required within 72 hours of arrest to ask whether the person can pay an attorney.

That appointment doesn't mean prosecutors are sure to seek capital punishment, Cuccia said.

Any time someone is booked with first-degree murder, "we try to get involved at the very beginning," he said. The district attorney will decide whether to ask a grand jury to charge Wright with first-degree murder and to seek capital punishment.

District Attorney Camille A. "Cam" Morvant did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press.

Thibodaux Police Chief Scott Silverii said Monday that Wright waived his right to an attorney on Sunday and confessed to killing Jori, who had been born three months premature and had numerous
medical problems and very limited speech.

The motive was unclear, but Wright, whose bond has been set at $5 million, said he was tired of caring for the boy, the police chief said.

Silverii said the boy's feet and one hand also were cut off, recovered in several white plastic garbage bags. A preliminary autopsy indicated Jori also had been bludgeoned, he said.

The chief said Jori's head was left by the side of the road so that Lirette, 27, would see it when she came home. By the time she arrived, police were already there and had removed the head.

Wright's only explanation for doing so was "just that he wanted her to feel stupid when she saw the head," Silverii said.

The killing was the first since 2008 in Thibodaux, a city of about 14,500 people.

As Lirette left the courthouse, one deputy rubbed her back while the other held her hand.

Two men, who asked a photographer to identify them only as family members, laid a stuffed bear and flowers and tied a balloon along with scores of similar bright memorials in front of the house where Jori died.

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:04 pm



Young victim of gruesome murder had a smile that could 'melt your heart'

wwltv.com
Posted on August 15, 2011 at 10:39 PM
Updated today at 10:55 AM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News

THIBODAUX, La. -- A 30-year-old Thibodaux man is behind bars in connection with his son's gruesome death. A passerby discovered the decapitated body of 7-year-old Jori Lirette outside his family's home.

A day later, many in the community are asking why.

"He was a very important person in my life, maybe the bestest thing that ever happened to me," said a tearful Jesslyn Lirette talking about her son, during a press conference Monday afternoon at the Thibodaux Police Department.

Lirette's pride and joy was her little boy who was confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy. Despite the health challenges, he never let that get him down.

"I loved his company. His smile would melt your heart. He had these little bitty red cheeks," family friend Samantha Scioneaux.

On Sunday, Jori's life came to an abrupt end. Thibodaux police say the boy's father, 30-year-old Jeremiah Wright, decapitated and then dismembered the boy's body over the family's kitchen sink.

Police say a passerby spotted the child's head outside on the sidewalk. When investigators arrived, police say they found the boy's dismembered body in a garbage bag.

"They always had a rocky relationship, and I'd tell her Jesslyn, you have to [leave him] before he kills you or he kills that little boy," said Scioneaux.

A day after the horrific attack, Scioneaux and her 6-year-old daughter stopped by the victim's home to pay their respects to a family she knows well. Scioneaux said she'd hear stories from her high school friend about Wright's strange behavior.

"'The voices are telling him to kill me and Jori.' I said get him help and then a couple of days later, he'd tell her I was just messing with you and give this evil little laugh," said Scioneaux.

But the alleged threats became reality. Investigators say Wright was waiting on the front porch when police arrived, allegedly confessing to the gruesome murder.

Mourner after mourner showing up to Jori's house on Monday afternoon to add teddy bears, balloons, notes and flowers to a growing collection.

"It's very heart breaking for someone to sit there and kill a little boy," said Vanessa Pitre, who heard about the murder and decided to drop off a stuffed bumblebee at the memorial site.

The unthinkable act continues to shock many especially parents in community.

"I don't know how anybody could do that. It's horrible. The child is innocent," said Germaine Watkins, who has a son the same age also attending Jori's school.

Innocence taken away too soon, leaving a grief-stricken mother asking why me.

"I love you very much Jori," Lirette said. "I wish you could be here today, but you're not."

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head bang over reaction crying crying crying crying crying crying


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Normal Mother: Boy slain by father loved him more than anything

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:17 pm

Jesslyn Lirette and her son Jori.
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wwltv.com
Posted on August 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM
Updated yesterday at 1:22 PM
Eric Heisig / Houma Courier

The "devil" came to Thibodaux Sunday, Jesslyn Lirette said, and he did so in the form of the man she was with for 10 years. The devil, she said, took her "angel" away.

Jeremiah Wright, 30, the father of the child, 7-year-old Jori Lirette, is accused of killing the boy and dumping his dismembered body outside the West Seventh Street home the three shared.
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Jori loved his father more than anything, Lirette said.

"He still killed him," she said. "He killed my baby."

A passing motorist alerted police after spotting the boy's head at the curbside. His body was found in a white trash bag nearby.

Jeremiah Wright, booked on a charge of first-degree murder, is accused of decapitating his son in the kitchen sink with a meat cleaver.

Wright is in the Lafourche Parish jail in lieu of a $5 million bond. If convicted, he faces mandatory life in prison and is eligible for the death penalty.

Police said Sunday they could not determine a motive for the killing, but family and friends said tension had been rising between Wright and Jesslyn Lirette for years. Jesslyn Lirette said she had an argument with Wright Saturday night, and those close to her said they had encouraged her to leave him.

"They had been on this rocky road," said Jesslyn's friend Samantha Scioneaux. "I told her ‘You have to end this before he kills you.' "

And while Wright acted as one of the boy's caretakers, Jesslyn said she had planned on ending the relationship for some time.

"I didn't get out fast enough," Jesslyn said.

Friends and family of Lirette and Wright said Wright was mentally instable and had told people he was "hearing voices." Those problems may have gone untreated, those close to the family said.

Wright's friend Mark Chatagnier said problems in Wright and Lirette's relationship were exacerbated by Jesslyn's unwillingness to help to care for Jori, who had cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair. Wright was unemployed, Chatagnier said, and was often left home alone with Jori, even when Jesslyn was not working.

"She would take off and totally expect Jerry to do everything," Chatagnier said.

Jesslyn denies those claims, saying she was the sole breadwinner in the family, working as a caretaker for a disabled person, and was still present to care for her son. She also said cries for help, such as a visit from Thibodaux Police last month over a domestic dispute, went unheard and unresolved.

Sunday morning, Jesslyn said she took her pickup to get repaired so she could take her son to the ear doctor Tuesday in New Orleans. Before leaving, she said, she gave her son a kiss.

"That's my routine every morning," Jesslyn said, adding that she now regrets not taking her son with her.

When Jori was born, doctors didn't offer a lot of hope that he would live. The 14-ounce baby arrived three months early and stayed at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans for a year.

Doctors "told her to just pull the plug, and she would always say ‘No, that's my baby,' " said Jesslyn's friend, Teri Molaison.

Jesslyn Lirette said when her son was in the hospital, she and her mother would make the hour-long drive daily, sometimes just to see her baby for 15 minutes. For most of Jori's life, he was confined to a wheelchair. His motor function was limited, and forming words was especially difficult. At 7 years old, he was no more than 50 pounds, Jesslyn said.

Family members said he became good at getting people's attention, though, sometimes pulling on someone's arm or banging on a cabinet.

Jori's mother said the boy had been improving over the past two years. Doctor visits were spaced farther apart, and he was able to form words and communicate. His first words were said only in the past of couple years, Jesslyn said. Jori was looking at picture on his aunt's laptop and suddenly uttered "Look." Other words, such as "root beer," followed.

Despite the challenges, Jesslyn said she never felt her son was handicapped.

"I never struggled with my son," Jesslyn said. "He was happy. Everything I could do, I did."

Late Sunday night, Jesslyn's family was gathered at the Thibodaux home of Jesslyn's mother, Delene Himel. Photo albums were taken out, a few retrieved from Jesslyn's home. One photo shows Jori wearing a set of angel wings.

Even at 7 years old, family members described Jori, fondly, as a smart-aleck. He was the one who would make smooching noises and would laugh when somebody was injured on television. He was fed via a tube but still loved cherry lollipops, ice cream and chocolate-chip cookies.

His mental capacity was limited, but Jori always showed affection toward his family and classmates.

"Everybody loved him," Himel said.

West Seventh Street in Thibodaux was dark Sunday night, except for a flickering light coming from a candle placed near the front steps. A stuffed alligator was next to the candle.

Jesslyn said she doesn't know who put the items there but is touched by their presence.

For now, Jesslyn said she is not allowed to go back into her home, though she can't imagine herself living there. Wright was the man she considered marrying at one point, but now she can't fathom starting another family.

Jori, she said, was "her insight, her spirit."

"My child is gone, and I cannot replace him," Jesslyn said. "He didn't deserve to die."



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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:22 pm

crying I am speechless.
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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:22 pm

Biological Father of a 7 Year Old Boy Kills and Dismembers The Child
Posted on August 15th, 2011 by Jan Barrett

Thibodaux, Louisiana is down in Cajun Country. In these areas most people know everyone around but this goes to show you that you never know what one individual is capable of doing.

According to the neighbors Jeremiah Wright, 30, and his live-in girlfriend, Jesslyn Lirette along with their 7 year old son, Jori Lirette moved into the neighborhood just a few months ago and no one could have dreamed of what was going to happen.

“It’s crazy, you don’t expect something like this to happen so close to your home,” said Courtney Howard, who is a neighbor.

According to the police report someone walking passed the home Wright and his family lived in spotted the child’s severed head on the sidewalk outside the home and a garbage bag that held the boy’s dismembered body in was nearby. They called the police who responded immediately.

Police say that Wright confessed to killing his son but no details are known yet as to what motivated him into killing the boy. He was arrested and charged with first degree murder of little Jori Lirette. Reports are that Wright decapitated the boy and then he dismembered his body right there in his home in the kitchen sink with a meat cleaver.

The police had been called to the home once before this when someone called and reported a disturbance in the home a month before the murder. Wright and his girlfriend apparently were having an argument but Police say that there was no physical fight between the two so there were no arrests made.

Capt. Calvin Cooks said they are thinking there may have been some tension between them before this murder occurred, arguing, and perhaps physical fighting. They just don’t know at this time.

Jesslyn Lirette wasn’t home when the police arrived at the home. They say when she arrived and found out what was going on she was so grief-stricken that she had to be hospitalized. When questioned she said the devil came to Thibodaux and he did so in the form of the man she was with for 10 years. She said the devil took her “angel” away. She also told the police that Jori loved his father more than anything. “He still killed him,” she said. “He killed my baby.”

Apparently the couple was having problems so much so that Lirette claims she had been planning on ending their relationship for some time now. “I didn’t get out fast enough,” she stated.

This case sounds so familiar to the Zahra Baker case. Zahra is the little Australian girl that was murdered by her stepmother and her body was dismembered also in North Carolina. Zahra had been a cancer victim that wore a hearing aid and she walked with a prosthetic leg.

When Jori was born he only weighed 14 ounces and he was born three months early in the Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans where he stayed for the first year of his life. The doctors had advised Lirette to pull the plug on the baby but she would always say no because that was her baby. She didn’t give up on him.

Most of Jori’s life he was confined to a wheelchair and had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. His motor function was limited and he had a really hard time forming words. Jesslyn said even though life for her son was a challenge she never felt like he was handicapped. “I never struggled with my son,” she said. “He was happy. Everything I could do, I did.”

Jesslyn said she had actually considered marrying Wright at one point, but now she can’t fathom starting another family. She said her son Jori was her insight and her spirit. “My child is gone and I cannot replace him,” said Jesslyn. “He didn’t deserve to die.”

Wright is being held in the Lafourche Parish Jail in lieu of a $5 million bond. If he is found guilty, he will be eligible for the death penalty in the state of Louisiana.

I don’t understand how anyone can harm an innocent child, especially one that is handicapped. I am sure they can frustrate the average person but not enough to kill them. They are innocent children that don’t stand a chance to fight for their life. My prayers are with the surviving family. I know little Jori is in heaven now being well taken care of. He won’t need that wheelchair anymore and I bet he can speak plainer than the average American can now. God bless you Jori Lirette!

Jan Barrett

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by laga on Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:33 am

As the procession walked out of St. Genevieve Church this morning, 27-year-old Jesslyn Lirette was at the front, grasping flowers as she struggled to walk. Hundreds of family, friends and well-wishers to the family followed behind as motorcycles revved their engines.

The family of 7-year-old Jori Lirette, including Jesslyn, his mom, laid his body to rest, nine days after he was found dead outside his West Seventh Street home. Following the funeral Mass, Jori's body was taken to its final resting place in St. Joseph Cemetery in Thibodaux.

Jori's father, 30-year-old Jeremiah Wright, is accused of decapitating his son. Wright is being held at the Lafourche Parish jail in lieu of a $5 million bond. Wright and Jesslyn had been a couple for about 10 years, family members said, and Wright told police he killed Jori to hurt her.

The Mass, led by the Rev. Dean Danos, was a way for the family to find closure. Danos tried to comfort Jori's loved ones by saying that after death, he will not have cerebral palsy or trouble talking, all things the boy struggled with while alive.

“Jori is with our Lord,” Danos said during the Mass. “He lives more perfectly than he ever did on Earth.”

Prior to the Mass, Jesslyn spoke again. Wright was hardly mentioned during Tuesday's services, though Jesslyn did say she will “fight for justice.”

“If I could change it, I would,” Jesslyn said, fighting back tears. “But God took you into his light and into his heart. You're with someone who will never hurt you, never put you down and always make you smile.”

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:28 am

I pray the father gets the DP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:41 am

lindamarie wrote: :crying:I am speechless.

ditto


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Normal Grand jury to hear evidence in boy's beheading

Post by laga on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:36 am

A grand jury will decide Friday if there is enough evidence against a Thibodaux man accused of killing his 7-year-old son to take the case to trial.

Jeremiah Wright, 30, is accused of decapitating Jori Lirette more than a week ago at his West Seventh Street home. He is in the Lafourche Parish jail on a first-degree murder charge.

Wright’s case will be presented to a grand jury Friday, said District Attorney Cam Morvant II.

The grand jury meets behind closed doors and hears evidence from prosecutors. An indictment means the grand jury is convinced enough evidence exists to prosecute, but it does not indicate guilt or innocence.

If convicted, Wright faces mandatory life in prison and is eligible for the death penalty. Morvant said he has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty, as the case is still under investigation.

Wright confessed to killing his son in an attempt to hurt his girlfriend, 27-year-old Jesslyn Lirette, police said. The pair had a documented history of domestic issues, including two restraining orders filed against Wright in 2004 and a visit from Thibodaux Police last month stemming from an argument over money.

Jori Lirette had cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair and fed via a tube. Wright has never been convicted of a violent crime, authorities said.

As news of the killing spread, an outpouring of support has grown. Facebook pages have popped up, and the family’s home became a shrine, as people routinely dropped off stuffed animals, balloons, toys, candles and pictures.

About 500 people attended a candlelight vigil Sunday in Peltier Park, and Jori was buried Tuesday at St. Joseph Cemetery in Thibodaux.

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Normal Grand Jury Hears Evidence Fri. In Boy's Beheading

Post by laga on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:40 am

THIBODAUX, La. -- A Lafourche Parish grand jury is to hear evidence against a 30-year-old Thibodaux man who, police said, confessed to beheading his disabled 7-year-old son.
Prosecutors will ask the panel convened Friday to indict Jeremiah Wright, who was booked Aug. 14 with first-degree murder of Jori Lirette.
Jori was killed, dismembered, and his head set in the yard.
A sworn police statement says Wright told investigators that his girlfriend, 27-year-old Jesslyn Lirette, said she was moving him to his mother's house.
Wright's bond is $5 million.

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by laga on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:08 pm

THIBODAUX, La. -- A Lafourche Parish judge has appointed two psychiatrists to consider whether a man who allegedly confessed to beheading his disabled son is able to help with his defense in the capital murder case.
Defense attorney Kerry Cuccia says Judge Hugh Larose put off arraignment of 30-year-old Jeremiah Wright until Oct. 17, when the judge also will hear the psychiatrists' testimony.
Cuccia won't discuss the basis for his request for a sanity commission and the judge's decision to appoint one. He says he filed three sealed exhibits.
He says they deal with Wright's current ability to help his defense, and not whether he was sane when 7-year-old Jori Lirette was killed Aug. 14.
Jori needed 24-hour care because of medical problems that included heart problems and cerebral palsy.

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:23 pm

I am sick of these people trying to get an insanity defense. 99.9% of the time, I simply don't buy it.

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by laga on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:13 pm

Wrapitup wrote:I am sick of these people trying to get an insanity defense. 99.9% of the time, I simply don't buy it.

Of course he's insane, insanely evil. Electric Chair
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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:17 am

Hearing delayed for dad accused of beheading son

Posted: Oct 25, 2012 8:30 AM by AP
Updated: Oct 25, 2012 8:31 AM

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - A hearing to determine the mental competency of a man charged with first-degree murder in the killing and beheading of his son has been rescheduled.

The hearing for 31-year-old Jeremiah Wright was originally set for Sept. 21. It was later reset for November; and attorneys now have agreed on a Jan. 3 date.

Wright is charged in the death last year of 7-year-old Jori Lirette.

Wright remains in the Lafourche Parish jail. His bond was set at $5 million.

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:06 am

Child killing trial delayed again

Published: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 8:46 p.m.

A hearing to determine the competency of a man accused of beheading his son has been pushed back a third time.

Jeremiah Wright, 31, of Thibodaux, must be deemed mentally competent before he can stand trial on charges he decapitated 7-year-old Jori Lirette last year.

The hearing, originally scheduled for Thursday, was moved to Jan. 29, prosecutors said.

Wright’s defense attorneys asked for the extension, court records show.

Wright remains in the Lafourche Parish jail on a first-degree murder charge in lieu of a $5 million bond.

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Normal Wright does not believe slain son was real, doctors say

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:59 pm

By Katie Urbaszewski
Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.

A man accused of decapitating his 7-year-old son told doctors and psychologists that he does not believe the child was a real person -- rather, he was a ventriloquist dummy or a robot, these experts testified today.

Testimony began today to convince a Lafourche Parish judge whether Jeremiah Wright, 31, is fit to stand trial on the charge of the first-degree murder of Jori Lirette, who had cerebral palsy.

Two witnesses for Wright's defense, a doctor and a psychologist, both stated that they believe this delusion will hinder Wright's ability to assist his attorneys, which would mean he is unfit to stand trial.

However, there are over a dozen people still scheduled to testify in the multiple-day hearing, and Judge John LeBlanc will not decide whether Wright's stalled court proceedings can continue until the defense and prosecution both rest.

Dr. Sarah DeLand, a director at the mental health facility where Wright previously was, and Robert Storer, a psychologist who formerly worked at the facility, both spoke of Wright's belief that Lirette was a government social experiment. As a result, they said, Wright does not believe there will be any consequences for his alleged act.

"I don't believe they can do anything to me because it wasn't a real person," DeLand said Wright told her during one of their interviews. "His skull was made of plastic. He had foam in him."

Storer said, based on his tests and observations, he does not believe Wright is faking this belief.

Lirette's mother, Jesslyn Lirette, declined comment today.

Jori was killed Aug. 14 in their home while his mother was out. His torso, lower legs and a forearm were found in a plastic bag in the trash can. The boy's head was found in their yard.

Wright was arrested soon after.

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Normal La. father Jeremiah Lee Wright, accused of decapitating son, ruled incompetent for trial

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:34 am

February 20, 2013 12:06 PM
By Crimesider Staff Topics Daily Blotter

(CBS/AP) THIBODAUX, La. - A La. judge ruled Tueday that Jeremiah Lee Wright, a 31-year-old man accused of beheading his 7-year-old disabled son, is incompetent and unable to help his attorneys fight the first-degree murder charge against him.

Judge John E. LeBlanc's decision came after a six-day hearing that ended Feb. 4. At least a dozen investigators and experts testified that Wright told them that his son, Jori Lirette, was a robot or CPR dummy put into his home as a government experiment to teach him about life.

The Lafourche Parish judge ruled that "Wright does not have the present mental capacity to proceed, in fact, he does not have the ability to assist counsel in his defense."

LeBlanc continued, "Wright does not have the ability to maintain a consistent defense, to listen to witnesses and inform his lawyers of distortions or misstatements, to make simple decisions in response to well-explained alternatives, and to testify in his own defense, if necessary."

LeBlanc ordered Wright to be returned to the custody of the state Department of Health and Hospitals and the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health Systems, Forensic Division, at Jackson, La., for treatment. He asked that the mental health facility provide the court with monthly progress reports and advise it when "the defendant is able to comprehend the proceedings against him and to assist in his defense."

"The proceedings have definitely been suspended," said defense attorney Kerry Cuccia. "They're on hold until such time he's able to assist counsel, if ever."

The judge did not consider whether Wright was sane on Aug. 14, 2011, when the boy was killed and dismembered and his head left in the yard of the house where Wright lived with the boy's mother.

Wright's attorneys have not entered a plea to the charge of first-degree murder. If he is convicted, Wright would face either death by injection or life in prison.

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Normal Judge: Wright still unfit for trial

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:45 am

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:56 pm
By ERIC BESSON Staff Writer

Jeremiah Wright still cannot rationally defend himself against the charge that he beheaded his 7-year-old son, so he will be returned to a state mental-health facility where doctors will again attempt to restore his competency to stand trial, a Thibodaux judge ruled last Tuesday.

While establishing that Wright understands the nature of the charge against him and can help to an extent in his defense, District Judge John LeBlanc listed four elements of Louisiana Supreme Court-derived criteria used to determine a suspect’s mental capacity to stand trial that he said Wright does not meet.

“In light of all of the evidence and testimony, the Court finds that Jeremiah Lee Wright does not have the ability to maintain a consistent defense, to listen to witnesses and inform his lawyers of distortions or misstatements, to make simple decisions in response to well explained alternatives, and to testify in his own defense, if necessary,” the ruling reads.

District Attorney Cam Morvant II said he respects LeBlanc’s ruling but his office hasn’t made the decision as to whether or not it will appeal the decision.

Wright, 31, confessed to police that he decapitated and dismembered his 7-year-old special-needs son on Aug. 14, 2011 at their Thibodaux home. He has not entered a plea on his first-degree murder charge.

Two months after the murder LeBlanc ruled that Wright was mentally unfit to stand trial based on the findings of a court-appointed sanity commission. Wright was remitted to the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System’s forensics division in Jackson, La.

In lieu of the latest ruling, criminal proceedings against Wright will again be stalled indefinitely. The suspect will be returned to ELMHS, where he spent nine months before doctors discharged him, accused him of exaggerating symptoms and declared him fit to stand trial.

If ELMHS doctors again conclude Wright is competent to proceed, another contradictory hearing will be held.
There is no timeline on the restoration process. The duration of Wright’s first stay at ELMHS was roughly three-times the average 70-90 days that patients take to clear the hospital’s competency restoration program, according to the hospital’s chief of staff John Thompson.

“I’ll be prepared to go back and do it again,” Morvant said. “It is what it is. It’s not something that I had control over. It’s not something that I hired all the experts to present to the court. The experts were kind of given to me by the hospital, and we had the hearing.”

Prior to reading the judgment in full, Wright’s principal defense attorney said the ruling runs parallel with his argument.

“Mr. Wright’s understanding of the proceedings is far from perfect, but the focus of our complaint was on the second area of concern, his ability to rationally assist counsel,” said Kerry Cuccia, director of the Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana. “It was pretty obvious to me that Mr. Wright was not able to rationally assist counsel. … My experience with him told me he had not been restored to competency. Once we got the complete records, we found things that supported our position.”

Much of the expert testimony over the course of a six-day hearing to determine Wright’s competency focused on Wright’s so-called delusion that his son was an inanimate object and that Wright was the subject of a social experiment.

Defense experts testified that Wright’s delusion prevents him from maintaining a consistent defense and making rational strategic decisions related to his case. State witnesses said that delusion does not exclude competence and testified that Wright has a factual and rational understanding of the criminal charge he faces.

The competency hearing was held six months after Wright’s release from ELMHS.

Mark Wilson, a psychiatrist who examined Wright the entire nine months, and Glenn Ahava, a psychologist who examined Wright for four months, discharged Wright the first time and co-authored a report.

The report was perhaps the keystone piece of evidence declaring Wright fit for trial, as the doctors who released it were ostensibly under no pressure to send the suspect back into the justice system.

Wright’s defense attorneys with the Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana, Cecilia Bonin and Mildred Methvin attacked the doctors’ opinions, presentation of evidence and credibility through cross-examination.
LeBlanc referenced similar concerns throughout his 27-page judgment.

“Perhaps out of an abundance of caution they went through the Bennett criteria (the court-derived guideline to determine competency) and made findings that he could assist his counsel,” LeBlanc said of Ahava and Wilson. “However, the many issues, inaccuracies, omissions, and concerns regarding their testimony and their findings in the Competency Restoration Report affect their credibility and bear negatively on the weight of their opinions.”
The judge notes that testing stopped after Wright supposedly broke from his delusion in a conversation on July 5, 2012 with Ahava, who reported Wright referred to Jori as his “son” and “a real person.”

“This conversation, in conjunction with Dr. Ahava’s opinion that Wright never had a major mental illness, was sufficient to convince Dr. Ahava that Wright had been restored to competency,” LeBlanc wrote.

But even the prior tests the doctors conducted where interpreted incorrectly, LeBlanc ruled, and discarded when the ELMHS report was written. Wilson testified that he considered the tests when reaching his conclusion although he didn’t denote their weight in the report.

Ahava gained employment with ELMHS in March 2012, three months after Robert Storer – the psychologist originally overseeing Wright in the restoration process – left the hospital.

One of the tests heavily scrutinized was the Personality Assessment Inventory Storer administered in December 2011. Storer declared this PAI invalid because he said Wright had responded too positively, hiding symptoms and “faking good.”

Despite the test being declared invalid, Wilson used the results in his bi-weekly progress notes regarding Wright’s rehabilitation. While this in itself is questionable, according to the defense, counselors also alleged that he incorrectly stilted the invalidated results in his notes.

Wilson first mentioned the results without qualifying them as invalid in his Jan. 6, 2012 progress note, writing they showed “no obvious evidence of psychosis.” He did not note that it produced no evidence that Wright was not psychotic, and he uses the results in the same manner in each progress note from Feb. 2, 2012 through April 16, 2012.

Storer disagreed with Ahava’s validation of the tests and said that using the PAI results in that manner “absolutely is not” a correct reading.

LeBlanc said the progress notes citing that PAI “contained that erroneous declaration.”

LeBlanc went on to write: “Throughout the entire process, Dr. Wilson never changed his view that Wright did not have a mental disorder. He testified that, in late May, 2012, they were moving toward a determination of incompetency until May 31, when Dr. Ahava re-scored Dr. Storer’s original PAI.”

LeBlanc also noted that Ahava had a difficult time establishing a rapport with Wright, unlike all other witnesses who had contact with the suspect, and that the doctor’s report contradicted the hospital’s chief of staff, who said diagnosing and treating mental illnesses take precedence over restoring competence.

“The fact is, that after nine (9) months of unsuccessful restoration services, it took Dr. Ahava and Dr. Wilson eleven (11) days to refer Wright back to the Court as ‘Restored to Competency,’” LeBlanc wrote.

Although he will be remitted to the same hospital, Wright’s principal defense attorney said he believes the ELMHS administration will ensure Wright receives a “fair and objective evaluation.”

“That being said, we’re going to stay involved and keep informed of what is taking place,” Cuccia said.
Morvant, echoing his closing argument, stressed that the science is subjective, adding that he still confident the hospital’s doctors can restore Wright for trial.

“I’ve been dealing with that hospital as a prosecutor off and on for almost 30 years now,” Morvant said. “The fact that the judge in this particular case was not necessarily impressed with two doctors over there, it doesn’t make a statement to the hospital as a whole.”

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Normal Jeremiah Lee Wright Found Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity For Decapitating His Disabled Son Jori

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue May 27, 2014 10:04 pm

February 14, 2014

A Louisiana father accused of cutting off the head of his disabled 7-year-old son has been found not guilty by reason of insanity, his defense attorney said Friday.

Attorney Kerry Cuccia said the ruling by state District Judge John LeBlanc came Friday in the case against 32-year-old Jeremiah Wright of Thibodaux, La.

Wright has been in custody since August 2011, when his son, Jori Lirette, was killed at the home Wright shared with the boy's mother. The boy's head was found in the driveway of the home. His other body parts were found in nearby trash bags. Jori's disability required him to need around-the-clock care, including being fed through a tube.

Cuccia says prosecutors agreed to the ruling of insanity and that Wright will be returned to the state mental hospital in Jackson where he had been held.

A call seeking comment from District Attorney Cam Morvant was not immediately returned.

Wright faced a first-degree murder charge in the Aug. 14, 2011, death.

According to a sworn police statement, Wright told investigators he had recently seen signs that made him believe he was living with a CPR dummy rather than his son.

Those signs, he said, included being defecated and urinated on the morning he decapitated and dismembered the boy, whom he referred to throughout the statement as "the dummy."

He also told police he and the boy's mother had fought the evening before, and that she had told him she was moving him out of the house.

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Normal Re: Jeremiah Lee Wright confessed to killing and dismembering girlfriend's disabled son, Jori

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