Teen accused of stabbing elderly woman to death

May 31, 2011 4:11:13 PM PDT
Relatives and neighbors of a murdered elderly woman in La Marque are searching for answers after a juvenile was charged with killing her.

Vaneeda Wright, 84, was stabbed to death in her home on Sunday. The juvenile was charged early Tuesday morning with killing her.

There is a clash of emotions going on in this neighborhood -- they are sad that Wright is gone, scared because of how violently she was killed, and angry because many of them know the boy arrested and charged with her murder.

Wright has plenty of friends on Prune Street who miss her dearly. She was found dead Sunday in a bedroom of the home she'd lived in since the 1950s. Days later, police believe they have the teenage killer in custody.

"I would never understand why this kid would have that much courage to do something like that," said Edward Murphy.

The suspect is Murphy's 14-year-old grandson who's lived in the same neighborhood for years.

"I have mixed feelings right now. I really don't know how I feel until I know the outcome, if it's actually fact," said Murphy.

Wright and the suspect knew each other in passing. The boy would often perform odd jobs for people on this street, sometimes mowing lawns or running errands for them including Wright.

"I said, 'What? How did he had it in him if he did it?' Couldn't figure it. This is a surprise. Truly," said Murphy.

Detectives say there was no sign of a break-in.

"There appeared to be no signs of a struggle, but one of the rooms was definitely ransacked," said Det. Sgt. Shawn Spruil with the La Marque Police Department.

They do believe Wright was stabbed to death by someone she knew. With a motive still in question, they're working with her family to see if anything is missing from the house.

Neighbors are both relieved and sickened to think a young kid could murder someone who was loved by so many.

"I'm just glad they caught the boy or whoever did it," said one neighbor.

The teenager is in custody. He was expected to be transferred to the Galveston County Juvenile Detention Center on Tuesday afternoon.

It's now up to the District Attorney's Office whether or not to charge the teenager as an adult.


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