In 2016, during an intense trial, the government failed to turn over key evidence to Brian Wright’s legal team until the morning of his trial. At the time, Wright was on trial for his 2014 holdups in which over $1.1 million in merchandise was stolen from Jared Jewelry stores, as well as others. Because of this legal technicality, Wright was allowed to walk free – simply waltz away from a case that might have led him to a 100-year prison sentence. Experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers say this may happen more often than we think.
What Are the Details of the 2014 Crime?
The 2014 operation involved Wright recruiting gunmen and getaway drivers, before carrying out the armed robberies. The set up was similar to how Wright would later orchestrate his 2017 heist – the heist that recently led to his 27-year sentence.
What Are the Criminal Charges?
Earlier this week, Wright was convicted of using a firearm during a crime of violence. As well, he was convicted of interfering with commerce by robbery and conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery. U.S. District Judge, Jennifer Dorsey, handed down his sentence.
Wright was not in the room when his sentence was read because, earlier during the hearing, he had been fighting with the judge, claiming his innocence. He eventually stated, “I’d rather just leave,” and called the proceedings a “fare” and a “circus.” Court marshals escorted him from Judge Dorsey’s courtroom.
“I don’t want to be nowhere near you people,” Wright said. “You dirty as hell.”
Judge Dorsey stated that Wright’s behavior was both “obstreperous” and “disruptive” but that it did not factor into her sentencing.
What Happened at Trial?
During the course of the week-long trial, federal prosecutors argued that Wright had conspired with several other individuals (all of whom testified against him) to commit two armed robberies back in 2017. “Terrified employees” and customers in the jewelry stores had been forced to their knees at gunpoint while the crimes were committed.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Nadia Ahmed, spoke to the courtroom about Wright’s life filled with crime, as well as the most recent offense. “The suffering, the pain, the lasting turmoil Wright and his co-conspirators left the employees and customers of these stores to deal with was and is nothing to the defendant,” she also wrote in a sentencing memo.
The Accused Maintains Innocence
Meanwhile, Wright claimed that, all along, the prosecutors and the FBI agent on his case were plotting against him in a vendetta, ever since the 2016 court blunder that led to his freedom.
In the most recent crime, Wright did not, technically, enter the store. He was nearby communicating with the gunman, who stole over $800,000 worth of jewels. The stolen goods were later recovered. Wright’s fingerprint was found on a garbage bag holding some of the gems.