Susan Wright formally released from prison after 16 years behind bars

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Five months after she was granted parole, Susan Wright has been formally released from prison. She was released on parole from the the Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville, Texas, at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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"Please don't do this to my family," she begged reporters. "Please stop. Have a heart. Please."

Susan has spent the last 16-plus years in prison, convicted of killing her husband Jeff in a violent rage. The 2003 murder in northwest Harris County drew national attention.

ABC13 caught up with Susan at home on her first day of freedom, where she requested privacy.

"Please don't do this to my family. Please stop. Have a heart. Please," she said.

When asked for any comment, "No ma'am. I would just like privacy, please respect that. I'm sure that y'all can understand, but don't do this to my family. Even if you do it to me, don't do this to them, please."

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Susan Wright claimed self-defense when she stabbed her husband 193 times before burying him in the yard. Now after more than 16 years, she's set to leave prison.

From the outside, Susan and Jeff had looked like a happy young couple, attractive with two young children. Their son was 4 years old, and their baby girl just 18 months old at the time.

On Jan. 13, 2003, prosecutors say Susan, age 26 at the time, tied her naked 34-year-old husband to the bed with neckties and stabbed him almost 200 times with two different knives. Seven of those stab wounds were to the groin area.

Afterward, Susan tied Jeff's body to a dolly and dragged him out to the backyard to bury him under potting soil in a hole in the yard that he had dug for a fountain.

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Before she turned herself in to authorities, a photo of Susan was released as officials tried to track her down

Two days later Susan made a domestic abuse report. Within a week she had turned herself in and her attorney revealed her defense. Her attorney claimed the deadly attack was self-defense after years of beatings at the hands of her husband. The couple had been married for four years.

The 2004 trial included dramatic moments - most notably a re-enactment from the prosecution on top of the bloody mattress in the courtroom, and Susan testifying on the stand in tears.

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The murder trial of Susan Wright was highlighted by the sensational courtroom re-enactment of the stabbing. The prosecutor demonstrated the deadly attack with the help of an associate, with Susan Wright watching tearfully.

The jury didn't buy it. Susan was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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In Jan. 2003, ABC13 was at the courthouse when Susan Wright first appeared before a judge.

Five years later, Susan was granted a new sentencing hearing after the court of criminal appeals ruled her counsel ineffective during the punishment phase. The second time around, a jury shaved off five years, giving her a 20-year prison sentence.

Susan had been denied parole twice, but was granted it in July 2020, providing she complete a three-month program.

According to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Susan will be on super-intensive supervision for the remainder of her sentence, until 2024. She must also get anger management counseling and wear a GPS monitor.

Susan, who was convicted when she was 27, will be released at age 44. The couple's children have been raised by Jeff's family.

On the eve of her release, Susan's family wrote in a text message: "I think she's paid her debt to society and deserves a second chance."

Watch ABC13's 2003 coverage as the case unfolded, including Susan's tearful testimony and the sensational courtroom re-enactment on your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and AndroidTV. Just search "ABC13 Houston."

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