Both sides rest in Susan Wright resentencing trial

October 29, 2010 3:21:52 PM PDT
The resentencing trial of Susan Wright is coming to a close, and when it does, she could either face more time in prison for killing her husband or she could possibly be released. Both sides rested late Friday afternoon. On Monday, each side will present its closing arguments, then the jury will deliberate Susan Wright's punishment.

On Friday, the jury heard from one of Wright's former cell mates.

We are one step closer to learning Susan Wright's fate. The jury has heard the last witnesses testify, and after each side presents its closing arguments, jurors will deliberate whether Susan Wright becomes a free woman or goes back to prison.

In this last day of testimony, prosecutors called five rebuttal witnesses to try to disprove the defense team's testimony. Jurors heard first from Michelle McCollough, Susan Wright's one-time cell mate.

"They asked her, 'Why do they call you 197?' And she said, 'That's because that's how many times I stabbed my husband,'" McCollough said.

McCollough testified about how domestic Susan Wright was while behind bars, always keeping a tidy cell, even baking for other inmates. She also recalled multiple instances when she says Susan Wright flirted with the male guards to gain special privileges.

"Whether or not she tried to survive in prison is totally irrelevant. That's survival. That doesn't mean she wasn't abused," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.

The state will weigh heavily on what two former neighbors have to say about Susan Wright and her relationship with husband Jeffrey Wright. Deborah Black and Robert Carlton Newberry took the stand. Each had good things to say about Jeffrey, and mostly nice things about how the couple were together.

"When we'd eat, we'd pray together before we had our meals, and when we'd sit around the houses, we'd sit by our respective spouses and they'd put their arms around one another; sometimes they'd kiss, sometimes they'd hug," said Robert Carlton Newberry.

While Newberry testified he saw Jeffrey Wright grab his wife's arm a couple of times, he didn't describe it as a husband mistreating his wife.

"The fact that neighbors are coming on, they're coming on for a purpose - to discredit Susan Wright," Androphy said.

The jury also heard from another one of Jeffrey Wright's ex-girlfriends who said he made her feel "crazy mad" all the time.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest on this trial.


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