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Thursday, April 05, 2007

This sucks. More here but you may have to register (it's free).

Back in 2001, a Shelby County code enforcer named Mickey Wright disappeared.

As I recall, he had phoned his wife to make a lunch date and then never showed up. She reported him missing sometime that afternoon, and a search was begun right away. Mr. Wright was an insulin-dependent diabetic, and that was an extra concern, of course. Days and weeks went by. Posters were put up. His family begged and pleaded for anyone who knew anything to come forward.

Eventually his burned-out truck was found (IIRC) and it was determined that he had been killed but his killer was not caught. Last year, I think, a new-broom sheriff's deputy reopened that case and kept on it until he found the killer: Dale Mardis, who owned some kind of business that Mr. Wright was in the act of applying county code to. From the article:

Mardis, 53, who was sentenced for second-degree murder, was required to tell prosecutors what he did with Wright’s body.

He said in a statement that Wright’s body was mostly burned and that any portions remaining were put into junked automobiles that were eventually crushed.

So he killed the man, which, because he was enforcing the law, was just as much a blow to law-and-order as killing a policeman is; did that to his body; and let his family suffer a very long time not knowing where he was or what had happened or was happening to him. He looked at those posters every day and never said a word. And he was allowed to plead no contest and sentenced to 15 years.

The family apparently acted out in the courtroom and I don't blame them.

I don't understand. I really don't. I would love to say this is not a race issue but it's really hard to explain otherwise, although in a city that's 2/3 black you'd think this kind of crap wouldn't be happening anymore. Because a few years ago when a white woman was carjacked at a Sonic in Collierville and driven away somewhere and killed, her black teenage killers got life without parole. That sentence was appropriate for them and it would have been even more so in this case. I Do Not Understand. I hope somebody with the DA's office draws us a picture.

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