State News

Wright found guilty of obstruction of justice

Posted August 27, 2008 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated August 27, 2008 12:17 p.m. EDT

— Disgraced former Rep. Thomas Wright was convicted Wednesday of obstruction of justice.

Jurors deliberated for less than four hours Tuesday and Wednesday before reaching the verdict. Shortly before returning with the verdict, jurors asked for a legal definition of an intent to defraud.

Wright, a Wilmington Democrat, was accused of preventing election officials from carrying out their duties and the public from learning about donations by failing to report $150,000 in campaign contributions.

Defense attorney Douglas Harris maintained Wright wasn't guilty of such a crime, acknowledging only that he made mistakes on his campaign disclosure forms.

Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens sentenced Wright to six to eight months in prison, with the sentence running at the same time as his current prison term.

Wright was sentenced in April to 70 to 95 months in prison after another jury found him guilty of three counts of fraud in the mishandling of charity contributions and fraudulently obtaining a loan.

He became the first lawmaker tossed out of the General Assembly since the 1880s when legislators found him guilty of ethics violations and voted overwhelmingly to expel him.

Wright declined to comment during or after the sentencing.