09/22/10 — Suspect in officer shooting on trial

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Suspect in officer shooting on trial

By Staff Reports
Published in News on September 22, 2010 1:46 PM

The trial of alleged police shooter Jerome Demond Wright began Tuesday in Wayne County Superior Court.

Wright, 27, is being tried on one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflict serious injury, possession of firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana). Wright has pleaded not guilty.

The charges stem from the alleged shooting of Goldsboro police officer Clint Hales in June 2008. Hales stopped Wright for having a taillight out at about 3 p.m. at the intersection of Elm and Creech streets.

The state, led by assistant district attorney Mike Ricks, began its prosecution of Wright Tuesday with Hales on the stand.

The police officer described the series of events that led to him stopping Wright, the exchange of gunfire and the arrival of backup and EMS. Hales was shot twice during the incident, once in the chest in his bullet-proof vest, and once in the abdomen right below his vest. Wright also was shot in the buttocks during the incident.

Also testifying was a witness to the incident, as well as several Goldsboro police officers. Presented into evidence were crime scene photos, photos of Hales' injuries, the gun allegedly used by Wright and clips of the officers' radio calls back and forth.

Wright has already pleaded guilty to federal charges of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with the case.

The trial is expected to continue today, and is likely to last into next week. The attorney for the defense is William Bland. Presiding is Judge Jack W. Jenkins.

Neither attorney would comment on the ongoing trial.