Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jury recommends death in Wright double-murder case

Wright Jr.

Wright Jr.

LARGO — By a 7-5 vote, jurors recommended that Ralph "Ron" Wright Jr. be executed for the murders of his former lover and their 15-month-old son.

Judge Thane Covert will now decide if Wright should die or spend the rest of his life in prison. A hearing is set for March 8, but he won't be sentenced for several more months.

Wright was convicted of the murders Thursday. The jury of eight women and four men had deliberated for 15 hours over two days before reaching a verdict.

Prosecutors had painted Wright as a calculating liar who killed Paula O'Conner and their son, Alijah, to maintain his promiscuous lifestyle and to avoid paying the boy's expensive medical bills.

Three weeks before the killings, she had him served with papers at MacDill Air Force Base, informing him she was suing for child support.

After the conviction was announced, O'Conner's daughter, Victoria Christopher, offered no opinion about the sentencing. O'Conner's father, William Dillon, said he didn't want Wright to be executed. He wanted him to sit in prison and think about the murders for the rest of his life.

Midway through the two-hour deliberation, jurors asked the judge about the family's input. He couldn't answer. Because the vote was so close, defense attorneys say they will likely ask prosecutors to agree to a life sentence.

Jury recommends death in Wright double-murder case 02/08/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 9:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas sheriff's corporal had racist, sexist, pornographic content on his cell phone

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County sheriff's corporal resigned recently after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair revealed a trove of racist, sexist and pornographic images on his personal cell phone.

    Shawn Pappas, 46, resigned as a training division corporal from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed a trove of offensive images and videos on his phone. This photo was taken as a screenshot from one of the videos released by the Sheriff's Office that Pappas filmed while on duty. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine reflects on the news from the Congressional Budget Office analysis that could imperil GOP leaders' hopes of pushing their health care the plan through the chamber this week, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP photo]
  3. Review: Dan Auerbach, Benjamin Booker plumb the past for inspiration on new albums

    Music & Concerts

    It didn't take Benjamin Booker long to get lumped in with the greats. The Tampa-raised singer-songwriter's 2014 self-titled blues-punk debut brought widespread acclaim, not to mention an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tour with Jack White and sessions with Mavis Staples.

    The cover of Benjamin Booker's new album "Witness." Credit: ATO Records
  4. Fourth of July in Tampa Bay: parades, hot dog parties, concerts and more things to do

    Events

    Looking for things to do on the Fourth of July in Tampa Bay? There is no shortage of patriotic events, from the Hot Dog Party concerts and eating contest in Tampa, to the parades in Land O' Lakes and Safety Harbor, to the swinging dance party at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine arts, there's an abundance of things to do …

    The annual Independence Day parade in Brandon kicks off at 10 a.m. on July 4 at 101 E Lumsden Road. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times (2015)]
  5. Pasco deputies investigate vandalism at Crystal Springs Cemetery (w/video)

    Crime

    CRYSTAL SPRINGS — Pasco County deputies are looking for one or more suspects linked to vandalism of two grave sites in this community's small cemetery.

    An above-ground tomb disturbed by one or more suspects, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.