Dad Not Guilty of Decapitating Disabled Son

Jeremiah Wright was accused of dismembering his boy

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2014 2:45 PM CST | Updated Feb 16, 2014 4:33 PM CST

(Newser) – A Louisiana man accused of dismembering his disabled, 7-year-old son and leaving his head in a yard was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Friday, WDSU reports. Jeremiah Wright, 32, was arrested in 2011 for the gruesome killing, and told investigators that he believed his son Jori Lirette—who was wheelchair-bound with cerebral palsy—was a robot or CPR dummy designed by the government to teach him about life. "He heard voices at the time," said one of several experts who testified that Wright was mentally ill. "He thought that people on TV were talking directly to him." (That, by the way, included Matthew McConaughey telling Wright that he was a good person.)

Even prosecutors in the case agreed Wright was too ill to face possible capital punishment in the killing. "As prosecutors, we have a duty not to prosecute the innocent or the mentally ill," the district attorney told the Advocate. One forensic psychiatrist said Wright probably has Capgras disorder, which makes someone think a known person is really an imposter. Jori's family released a statement saying they were "comfortable with the decision," and Jori's mother, who shared a house with Wright, described her son as "my star. Now you're in heaven as an angel. You're a beautiful star and you will always shine bright inside my heart—inside of everybody's heart."

This undated photo provided by the Thibodaux police Department shows seven-year-old Jori Lirette.
This undated photo provided by the Thibodaux police Department shows seven-year-old Jori Lirette.   (AP Photo/Thibodaux Police)
Jeremiah Lee Wright, 30, father of seven year old Jori Lirette, is transported into District Court to face murder charges in the boy's death, in Thibodaux, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011.
Jeremiah Lee Wright, 30, father of seven year old Jori Lirette, is transported into District Court to face murder charges in the boy's death, in Thibodaux, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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