Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Wright trial-Day 2

I'm at the Wake County Courthouse covering Thomas Wright's criminal trial. If you don't know, he's the former State Representative from Wilmington who was kicked out of the General Assembly 10 days ago.

It stems from the fraud charges he now faces in court. Basically, investigators believe he used a fake letter to get a loan for a health non-profit that never really existed in the first place. There were no by-laws and there were never any meetings. He's also accused of pocketing nearly $9000 in charitable donations.

Wright's attorney, Doug Harris, has said he wanted the legislative hearing and trial delayed because he didn't have time to get a defense together.

In the first days of this trial it's becoming clear what his defense is in the case. He's maintained the money mix-up was simply sloppy bookkeeping. In opening statements, Harris said the health foundation was a failure and every man deserves a failure. He's pointed out several times to the jury that no one has complained about being ripped off by Wright. He's said several times that the bank didn't lose out on the loan.

Harris is essentially saying to the jury, Wright made some mistakes but nobody was hurt and Wright deserves to be forgiven for his mistakes.

Problem is, Prosecutors believe those mistakes broke the law and they believe he deserves to be forgiven after serving time behind bars.

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