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. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  2. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change

    National

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  3. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  5. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]