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Mother of murdered 4-year old boy faces possiblity of life in prison without parole

Mother of murdered 4-year old boy faces possiblity of life in prison without parole

June 12th, 2019 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

The mother of a 4-year-old boy whose father is serving life without parole for his murder is scheduled to go on trial later this month in connection with the death.

Khadijah Wright, 26, is charged with injury to a child by omission in the March 2018 death of D'Money Lewis. D'Money's father, Benearl Lewis, 25, was convicted by a jury of murder last year and sentenced to life in prison.

Khadijah LaShawn Wright

Khadijah LaShawn Wright

Wright faces five to 99 years or life in prison if found guilty. She allegedly violated a Child Protective Services care plan which prohibited Benearl Lewis from being alone with D'Money or his siblings and which prohibited him from spending the night in the home with the children. Wright is also accused of lying to investigators about how D'Money suffered catastrophic brain and other injuries.

A final pretrial hearing was held Wednesday afternoon before 5th District Judge Bill Miller in a first-floor courtroom of the Bi-State Justice Building. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp told the court that the only pressing issue for the state concerns the findings of defense experts who have evaluated Wright for issues concerning competency and her state of mind at the time of D'Money's death.

Crisp said that the state has its own expert prepared to evaluate Wright next week in advance of her June 25 jury selection date but that without the defense's experts' reports, they are at a disadvantage. Miller imposed a deadline of 5 p.m. Monday, June 17, for the defense to turn over reports from any experts it expects to call at trial.

Wright's lawyer, Jasmine Crockett of Dallas, said she wants to be present when the state's expert evaluates Wright. Crisp expressed concern that if Crockett shuts down certain questions from the state's expert, it would be unfair. Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards added that she would like to inquire of the state's expert as to their policy concerning observation of an evaluation by an outside party.

Miller agreed to allow Crockett to be "outside the door" when Wright is being interviewed by the state's expert but not in the room. Crockett can communicate with Wright via cell phone if needed. Should Crockett terminate the evaluation by the state's expert, it will likely mean that the defense's experts will not be permitted to give their findings before a jury.

Crockett also asked the court about the electronic leg monitor Wright has been required to wear since her release on bond. Crockett said Wright is more than $700 behind in the fees charged for the device though she is working long days and making great effort to pay the balance. Crockett inquired about a waiver of the fees or removal of the monitoring requirement from Wright's bond conditions.

Miller declined to order removal of the GPS monitor though he agreed to take the issue of waiving some of the associated fees under advisement.

The case is scheduled for jury selection June 25 at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston, Texas. Opening statements are expected to follow.

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