Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Krista Ruggles and Jermaine Wright are household names for some of us around here. Wright murdered Ruggles after the two met at an Ocean City club back in 1995. This was the first murder I was ever involved in covering, and many people involved in the case still remember it well today. Wright reportedly strangled and sodomized Ruggles before dumping her body outside of Ocean City on a side road. State's Attorney Joel Todd said in an interview with me in 2006 he would never forget the case and the circumstances that surrounded it from the beginning of the investigation to the disappointing outcome. After being convicted and initially being sentenced to life in jail in 1999, the case was overturned because the jury reportedly was mistakenly given a news account detailing Wright's three previous sex assault convictions. When it came time for a second trial in 2001, Wright struck a plea bargain with the state that earned him just 15 years in prison for the brutal murder of the teenaged woman from Pennsylvania. According to the Altoona Mirror, Wright's sentence has been reduced because of good behavior and he will be released Feb. 8, less than seven years after the plea bargain was reached. The disappointing as well as disturbing aspect of this case continues.