Ex-fiancee provides tearful testimony

October 25, 2010 3:51:48 PM PDT
A person who could be a crucial witness for Susan Wright's defense took the stand Monday in her resentencing trial. Wright is hoping to receive a lighter prison sentence for murdering her husband. She tied him to their bed and stabbed him nearly 200 times. Misty McMichael's testimony during the appeals process was instrumental in getting Susan Wright's resentencing trial. The jury now heard her testimony in this punishment trial, but what else they heard could jeopardize that very testimony.

McMichael's testimony was filled with tears.

She said, "He would just attack, attack, attack me, you know."

McMichael told the jury she was once engaged to Jeffrey Wright and lived with him in Austin. McMichael began to cry when she testified Wright was a drug dealer who abused her physically and emotionally including throwing a beer bottle at her at an Austin restaurant.

McMichael recalled, "He took the glass and he threw it and it shattered on my face and cut me and it bled everywhere. I still have a piece of glass in my chin."

McMichael's mood changed when questioned by the prosecution. She began to argue repeatedly with prosecutor Connie Spence, including an exchange after the lunch break.

Spence asked, "Did you have a good lunch?"

"No," McMichael responded. "And what does that have to do with anything?"

A few minutes later, Judge Jim Wallace ordered the jury out of the courtroom and gave McMichael a warning to stop adding what the judge called dramatics.

"You are turning your testimony into a circus," Judge Wallace admonished her. "If it continues, I will strike everything you've had to say."

McMichael is considered an important witness -- the only witness who also claims to have been beaten by Jeffrey Wright. However, our legal expert says her testimony can be risky.

"You have her credibility, too. They're just not going to accept every word she says as gospel," explained legal analyst Joel Androphy. "Her credibility is on the line and she may not have a whole lot of it. They're just going to accept so much of what she says. Anything beyond a certain amount, they're going to discount."

McMichael's testimony has ended. She was followed on the stand by Susan Wright's sister.

Susan Wright was convicted in 2004 of killing her husband and sentenced to 25 years.

The 25-year punishment was thrown out because her defense did not include battered women syndrome. Her sentence could be reduced significantly if the jury believes the murder was a case of 'sudden passion.' If that's the case, Susan could get probation. If they don't find 'sudden passion,' she could receive up to life in prison.


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