Susan Wright's mother testifies of abuse at resentencing trial

October 26, 2010 3:19:35 PM PDT
Susan Wright's defense put her mother on the stand Tuesday. She gave emotional testimony when she talked about her daughter being abused by her husband. It will be up to the jury to decide if the abuse happened and if it was enough to drive Susan Wright to murder her husband, Jeffrey Wright.

It was a desperate existence, according to Susan Wright's mother. She told the jury her daughter walked on eggshells around husband Jeffrey Wright.

"He had a violent temper. You never knew what would set him off," said Sue Wyche.

She testified Jeffrey Wright regularly physically and emotionally abused Susan Wright throughout their marriage. Wyche told the jury she often saw Susan Wright with bruises.

"I felt helpless; if I called anyone he would beat her up again," said Wyche.

When the prosecutor asked Wyche if she encouraged Susan Wright to call the police, Wyched replied, "No, because it would have put her in jeopardy."

This is the second day the defense has called friends and family of Susan Wright to testify about Jeffrey Wright's alleged abusive behavior. Establishing a violent history, our legal expert says, is essential to the defense proving Susan Wright killed her husband in 2003 while in the heat of 'sudden passion.'

"Jeffrey Wright is on trial as much as Susan Wright," said Joel Androphy, KTRK Legal Analyst. "Susan Wright can't win her case unless she can prove he was a violent person and an abuser in their relationship."

One of the few times we saw Susan Wright smile today happened when her friend took the stand. However her testimony quickly changed Susan Wright's expression.

"She always wore these overalls that were long shorts and when the shorts would come up while we were playing with the kids, I would see bruises on her legs. Sometimes I saw bruises on her arms. I saw a lot of bruises," said friend Jamie Darr-Hall.

The jury is expected to hear from experts on battered women's syndrome this week. It's the type of evidence that the jury did not hear in the first sentencing trial.

The defense is trying to prove 'sudden passion.' If the jury agrees, Susan Wright could get as little as probation. She faces the maximum of up to life in prison.

Wright to take the stand?

Lawyers for Susan Wright still haven't decided if she will testify in her own defense.

Back in 2004, Susan Wright took the stand at her first punishment trial. That jury sentenced her to 25 years without hearing evidence that Susan Wright had been abused by her husband Jeffrey Wright.

This time around, Susan Wright's defense team is not saying if she'll take the stand on her own behalf.


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