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State rests in trial of principal accused of rape

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on June 26, 2007 at 1:03 pm |
June 26, 2007 1:03 pm

After 5-1/2 days of calling witnesses, Pierce County prosecutors finished presenting their case against Baker Middle School principal Harold Wright Jr. on Tuesday morning.


The defense began about 11 a.m. with Wright’s attorney, Wayne Fricke, asking Superior Court Judge Lisa Worswick to dismiss the second-degree rape charge against his client. Fricke said there was no evidence that Wright had sexual intercourse with the victim, who was 19 at the time, and only dubious evidence that he was in the room when she alleges she was raped.


Worswick declined, however. The judge said she felt there was enough evidence – including DNA that could have come from Wright that was found on the alleged victim’s body – for the jury to continue considering the charge.


Fricke then called Wright’s brother, Daryl Wright, as his first witness.


Daryl Wright testified about his recollection of the events of Jan. 30-31, 2004.


He spent much of his testimony talking about his attraction to the alleged victim’s friend, Stefanie Fincham, how they hit it off that night and later engaged in consensual sex in an upstairs bedroom.


Fincham testified last week that Daryl Wright, who works as an assistant principal at a Tukwila high school, was hitting on her that night but that she didn’t have sex with him.


Daryl Wright also testified that he saw the alleged victim dancing around the townhouse that evening without her shirt.


“(She) kind of took the lead and started dancing provocatively,” he said.


Under questioning from Robert Freeby, who represents Harold Wright’s co-defendant, Richy Carter, Daryl Wright said he saw the victim’s friends looking at her at the time.


Freeby asked if Daryl Wright had an opinion about what those looks conveyed.


Deputy prosecutor Lori Kooiman objected to the question, saying it called for Daryl Wright to speculate about what the women were thinking. Worswick allowed him to answer.


“It was defintely disapproval,” he said.


The trial then broke for lunch. Daryl Wright faces cross-examination this afternoon.


See posts below for previous reports on the trial.

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