PRESTONSBURG – Floyd County Circuit Judge Thomas Smith denied Ronald Wright’s motion to lower his bond and allow him to be on home incarceration on Thursday.
Wright’s attorney, Jerry Patton, asked the court to release Wright on home incarceration, which would allow the accused man to prepare for his upcoming trial. Patton mentioned that Wright’s wife, Loretta, who is a co-defendant, is currently on home incarceration and doing fine.
“It’s much more amendable to effective preparation than going to the jail,” Patton said. “It’s no problem. I’ll go to the jail when necessary, but the jail is not exactly the best place in the world to prepare a defense for a murder trial and speak to your client confidentially.”
Smith weighed the charges in the case, the evidence and the possible flight risk of the defendant and denied the defendant to leave jail.
Wright is charged with the shooting death of 54-year-old Famer Halbert on March 12, 2013. Wright is also charged with attempted murder and seven counts of wanton endangerment.
According to court documents, on November 11, 2012, Wright’s 38-year-old son, Matthew Wright, was found dead. An investigation by the Kentucky State Police and the Floyd County Coroner’s Office ruled Matthew Wright’s death an accident and there was absolutely no evidence of any lethal trauma or injury that could have contributed to his death. The medical examiner concluded that Matthew Wright died as a result of weather-related cold exposure.
Although evidence showed Matthew Wright’s death accidental, Ronald Wright had been adamant from day one that Matthew Wright was in fact murdered by Famer and Lorene Halbert.
According to court documents, Ronald Wright and his wife Loretta, asked Lorene Halbert, who is Loretta’s sister, if they could come to her home to discuss the details of Matthew Wright’s death. Lorene Halbert welcomed her sister into her home, as she thought they could put the allegations of murder to rest. Ronald Wright, however, entered the home and found Famer Halbert asleep in the bedroom and allegedly shot him at close range between the eyes. Ronald Wright allegedly also shot Lorene Halbert as she ran into the home when she heard the gunshot. A struggle also allegedly occurred that resulting in Lorene Halbert also being shot. Ronald Wright was also wounded in the struggle. Halbert’s seven grandchildren were present during this incident and witnessed the events.
The shooting happened at Halbert’s home in McDowell in March 2013.
Wright’s wife faces the same charges as her husband.
“I’m glad they didn’t let him out,” Lorene Halbert said, following Thursday’s ruling. “He should never see the light of day. He executed my husband and shot me. He tried to kill the kids if I had not fought back.”
Jury selection in Ronald Wright’s trial is scheduled to begin July 26.
Ronald Wright’s children – Michael Wright (Printer), Ronald Wright (Printer) and Wayne Wright (Knott County) were present in court to support their father on Thursday.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.