LARGO, Fla. (AP) - A former Air Force sergeant has been sentenced to death in the killing of his ex-girlfriend and their 15-month old child.
Ralph Wright Jr., 46, was found guilty Friday by Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Thane Covert of a crime the judge called “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Wright showed up to Paula O'Conner's St. Petersburg home in the early morning in July 2007 as the woman was getting dressed for work. She had filed a lawsuit against Wright Jr. for failing to support their son, Alijah, who was suffering from health problems. Wright Jr. strangled O'Conner and left her at the foot of the child's crib. He also smothered their son.
Covert says the death penalty sentence was appropriate.