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Father decapitates, dismembers disabled son

Louisiana man leaves seven-year-old boy's head by the side of the road so that the child's mother would 'feel stupid'

  • AP
  • Published: 00:00 August 17, 2011
  • Gulf News

Jeremiah Lee Wright (right), father of seven-year-old Jori Lirette (left)
  • Image Credit: AP
  • Jeremiah Lee Wright (right), father of seven-year-old Jori Lirette (left) is transported into District Court to face murder charges in the boy's death in Thibodaux, La. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011.
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New Orleans: A Louisiana man is accused of bludgeoning, decapitating and dismembering his disabled seven-year-old son and leaving the boy's head near the street so the child's mother would see it — a killing that brought seasoned police officers to tears, authorities said on Monday.

Jeremiah Lee Wright, 30, of Thibodaux waived his right to an attorney and confessed to killing Jori Lirette within 30 minutes of being brought to the police station on Sunday, Police Chief Scott Silverii said.

He said Wright was charged with first-degree murder and held in lieu of $5 million (Dh18.3 million) bond. He was in isolation, Silverii said at a news conference.

The department spokesman, Detective Ricky Ross, said he does not believe Wright has an attorney.

Flowers, balloons and stuffed animals were left outside the house where Jori died.

"He was maybe the best thing that ever happened to me," his mother, Jesslyn Lirette, said at the news conference.

Excessive bleeding

A preliminary autopsy found the boy was bludgeoned, decapitated and dismembered, Silverii said. Whatever hit him caused, ‘excessive bleeding in the head,' he said.

Silverii said the motive was unclear, though Wright told police, "that he'd gotten to the point where he was tired of taking care," of the boy, who had cerebral palsy and heart problems, needed a feeding tube, had limited speech and used a wheelchair.

"He said when he put his head out by the side of the road it was so the mother would see it when she came by," Silverii said.

He said Wright's only explanation for doing so was, "just that he wanted her to feel stupid when she saw the head."

The police chief said Jori's feet and one hand also were cut off, recovered with the body in several white plastic rubbish bags.

The slaying was the first in Thibodaux since 2008.

Silverii said the boy apparently was cut up over the kitchen sink, which was sent to the Louisiana State Police crime lab along with a box of tools found nearby.

Wright told investigators he began killing the boy about 30 minutes after Lirette had left on Sunday to repair her truck so she could take Jori to a doctor on Tuesday.

Police had been called to the house last month when the couple had an argument — possibly about money — though neither person brought charges, Ross said.

Prior arrests

The police chief said Wright had been arrested a few times previously, though he was never charged with violent crimes. Wright served ten days for theft in 2005.

Lirette, 27, told the Daily Comet of Thibodaux that she and Wright had been together for ten years, but that she had planned for some time to leave him.

"I didn't get out fast enough," she said.

Mark Chatagnier, a friend of Wright's, told the newspaper Wright was unemployed and Lirette often left him to care for Jori, even when she was not working.

"She would take off and totally expect Jerry to do everything," Chatagnier said.

Lirette denied that. She said she cared for another disabled person to pay household bills and was still around to care for her son, who had been born three months premature, could say only a few words and weighed no more than 22 kilograms when he died.

"He was my star. No matter what people think or say, he was always top priority in my life," Lirette said through tears during the news conference.

Comments (22)

  1. Added 17:13 August 17, 2011

    I, too, am a mother, and its too hurting to think that because a child is so helpless because of some illness,one of the parents did such a gruesome crime...even though I've read on some articles that the father is more likely to be given death penalty in the US because of 1st-degree murder, still it is too small a comfort, as the mother will not have his child back.Can't help crying when I've read this... I hope Mrs. Lirette will find comfort that so many people are praying for her and for little Jori's soul... At least now he will be forever in heaven and God himself will take care of him.

    Jen, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 17:00 August 17, 2011

    I do completely agree with Mridula. News is news and people should know what happens around the world. My heart goes out to Jesslyn.. i pray that God gives her strength to go through this painful phase. Recession is never a reason to commit such a heinous crime as this.

    mithun, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:00 August 17, 2011

    Mr. Great father should be examined for psychiatric problems. if he is fine and if his motivation is intentional then he should be executed in the same way like that innocent angel. Why these people are going for children??? Evil should be uprooted and capital punishment should be given before public which will server as an example that others will not repeat...

    pravin, jeddah, Saudi Arabia

  4. Added 16:55 August 17, 2011

    The goverment should give the "Stone to Death" Punishment. No Mercy to these kind of person. May god almighty rest his(Son) soul in peace.

    Dan, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

  5. Added 15:21 August 17, 2011

    It's too hurting. I cannot imagine how the boy's mother feels right now. I am a mother of a special child and I cannot help but cry.

    madelaine, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 15:05 August 17, 2011

    The father should be excuted the way like he killed the child...

    Murad Ali, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:01 August 17, 2011

    Mrs.Lirette so to hear about you beloved son. He was such an angle and that cruel man had killed him i and the world we all have read the artical he should be hang to death immediately in front of the public so that next time no one will do such a cruel thing to their own children. May his soul rest in peace. My prays are always with you takecare.

    Evette George, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 14:56 August 17, 2011

    The truth is that people go mad. The aggressively mad, more likely to be men, may kill others. The unaggressively mad, more likely to be women, may kill themselves or perhaps not kill at all. Infidelity doesn't create madness any more than money problems do, it is just that none of it helps. And the more facile the explanation of why a parent has killed their child, the less likely it is to bring comfort to the people who most need it.

    Irfan latif, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 14:44 August 17, 2011

    How can somebody say that this particular should not be put during ramadan. See, if there is a news of any rape of any bollywood actress or any hollywood actress ,then this case you readers would be so much interested in looking up Gulfnews to see whats there update ???Think brothers before you write something !!!!

    BONEY BERSLEEBI, AL-AIN, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 14:21 August 17, 2011

    I think the father needs to undergo psychiatric examinations. He must be experiencing some mental disorder or his anxiety level was too high which caused his breakdown. And the manner of killing was really something, it's inhuman to think it is his son.

    Trisha, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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