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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Prosecuting father accused of decapitating son costly

Prosecuting father accused of decapitating son costly

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — District Attorney Cam Morvant says Lafourche Parish spent more than $230,000 prosecuting a Thibodaux man accused of decapitating his disabled son.

In February, thirty-two-year-old Jeremiah Wright was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2011 death of 7-year-old Jori Lirette. He had been charged with capital murder.

Lirette, who was fed through a tube, was confined to a wheelchair and required around-the-clock care.
The boy, who had cerebral palsy, was killed on Aug. 14, 2011, and his severed head was found in the yard of the house Wright shared with Jori's mother, Jesslyn Lirette.

Additional remains were found in trash bags nearby.

A forensic psychologist said Wright told him that he killed Jori because he thought his son was a robot. Wright told the psychologist that he "wanted to see its insides - to see what it's made of."

After police said Wright dismembered his son, Wright told the psychologist that he "found foam at the joints and a plastic skull."

Judge John LeBlanc handed down the verdict without trial in February, after prosecutors agreed that mental illness had kept Wright from understanding he was doing something wrong.

Morvant tells The Daily Comet that in-depth mental and background investigations make cases involving mental illness expensive.

Wright remains in the parish jail until he can be moved to the state forensic mental hospital in Jackson. Sheriff's spokesman Brennan Matherne says it can sometimes take years for a bed to become available.

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