Houston Chronicle

Jan. 24, 2003, 2:48PM

Woman charged with murder for stabbing husband 193 times

Associated Press Writer

Houston Chronicle

A woman charged with killing her husband and then burying his body in their back yard stabbed him nearly 200 times while he was tied down, a prosecutor said Friday.

Susan Lucille Wright, 26, surrendered Friday to authorities at the Harris County Courthouse. She was charged with murder and jailed without bond pending an arraignment Monday.

The body of her husband of four years, Jeffrey Andrew Wright, 34, was found the night of Jan. 18 in the back yard of their home just outside the city limits of Houston's northeast side.

"He was stabbed 193 times," said Kelly Siegler, an assistant district attorney.

"When it happened he was tied down to his bed by his wrists and ankles. He still had the ligatures around them" when investigators uncovered the body, Siegler said.

Wright's attorney, Neal Davis, said Friday she acknowledges killing her husband but contends she was driven by fear for her life and the lives of their two children because he was abusive.

"Susan Wright was having serious psychiatric problems that were the result of four years of mental and physical torture by her husband," Davis said.

According to Davis, Wright called him to her home Jan. 18. He complied, and then called the Harris County district attorney's office to tell prosecutors a body was partially buried behind the house.

Wright began undergoing psychiatric treatment and by Friday remained too fragile to face interrogation by investigators, Davis said.

"The possibility of us having her speak to police at some point is not off the table," he said. "It's just right now, she's in no condition to withstand questioning, much less give a statement."

The children, a 4-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter, are staying with Susan Wright's sister, who is a child psychologist, Davis said.

He declined comment on the number of stab wounds and evidence Jeffrey Wright was tied down when attacked.

Jeffrey Wright's father, Ron Wright of Austin, reiterated Friday he never saw any signs of abuse in his son's marriage. He was gratified to hear Susan Wright had been charged and jailed.

He said he and his wife last saw his son and his family shortly before Christmas but have had no contact with Susan Wright or their grandchildren since learning of their son's death.

"This has been the most horrible week of my and my wife's life," Ron Wright said.

Earlier this week, Davis acknowledged Susan Wright hadn't reported any abuse because her husband threatened her life and the lives of their children if she told anyone, though at least one doctor and some others had seen bruises and scars on her.

"We'll show there's a reasonable and logical explanation for the events surrounding his death," Davis said Friday.

© 2003 The Associated Press

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