On February 29, 43-year-old Cari Ann Wright of Onondaga Township was charged with murder in the 2015 death of her 16-year-old daughter, who couldn’t walk or talk according to news reports. Wright now stands charged with first-degree child abuse and torture in addition to the murder charge.
The teenage girl could not care for herself and according to court records had not received medical attention in approximately one and a half years. Hannah Warner passed away on November 16; the following day, authorities began an investigation into her death.
At a hearing on Monday, an Ingham County Sheriff’s detective testified that Hannah weighed just 43 pounds. Her death was ruled a homicide. A news article at the Lansing State Journal revealed a warrant was obtained against the defendant on February 24, following the investigation in which the sheriff’s office worked closely with the Ingham County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Wright’s next appearance in court is set for March 17, when it will be determined whether she should stand trial on the criminal charges. At last reports, she was in jail pending the next hearing and ordered held without bond.
While all are serious criminal charges, the crime of murder is the most serious anyone can be accused of. There are various homicide charges a person may face depending on the facts of the case including first- and second-degree murder, negligent homicide, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, and felony murder. First-degree murder involves premeditation, and if found guilty the defendant will face life in prison. Second-degree murder may be the charge if the facts do not necessarily support premeditation, however the defendant could still face life behind bars, or any number of years. Even in the event a person is charged with involuntary manslaughter, meaning one individual has killed another without intending that person’s death, the punishment could include up to 15 years in prison.
Anyone who is facing murder charges must consult with a capable and aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer. While it may seem that your life is over and there is no point, an experienced attorney will protect your legal rights, provide the legal support and guidance you need to make the right decisions, and advise you regarding all possible legal options. In many cases, it is to the defendant’s advantage to plead to a lesser charge, as the penalties are usually less severe. Should your case go to trial, it is imperative to have an attorney who will fight vigorously to reach a positive outcome.