Hearing on murder charge postponed
by Ralph B. Davis
PRESTONSBURG — Ronald and Loretta Wright appeared separately Tuesday in Floyd District Court, but not much happened in the cases against the husband and wife accused of the shooting death of a McDowell man two weeks ago.
A preliminary hearing was supposed to be held for Ronald Wright, but that was postponed until Thursday, after one of his attorneys, Steven Bailey, told the court that his co-counsel, Jerry Patton, had surgery earlier that morning. Judge Jimmy Marcum continued the hearing until 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Ronald Wright, 64, of Printer, is charged with murder and attemped murder, following the March 12 shooting death of Famer Halbert. Ronald Wright allegedly shot a sleeping Famer Halbert in the head while he and his wife visited the Halberts’ home. Halbert’s wife, Lorene, and Ronald Wright were each shot in the alleged struggle over the weapon that followed.
Family members have said that the Wrights blamed the Halberts for the death of their son, Matthew, in November. Loretta Wright and Lorene Halbert are sisters.
A preliminary hearing has already been held in the case against Loretta Wright, with a potential indictment on charges of complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit attempted murder now in the hands of a grand jury. She was back in court Tuesday, however, as her attorney, Michael Bass, requested a lower bond.
Bass said his client represented little flight risk, because she is 60 years old and in poor health. He asked Marcum to consider reducing her $500,000 bond, allow it to be secured with property or a partial payment, and order home incarceration.
However, Marcum denied Bass’ request.
“I don’t think she’s a flight risk, but I thought she was a danger to others when I set her bond and I still feel that way today,” Marcum said.
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