Loved Ones Of Ex-Marine Convicted Of Murder Fight To Clear His Name
The family of an Iraq war veteran is asking retired detective Chris Anderson and criminal defense attorney Fatima Silva of Reasonable Doubt to re-examine Tim Wright Jr.’s 2008 murder conviction.
Tim Wright Jr., was just 21 years old on May 3, 2008, when he reportedly went to a Virginia park and found his girlfriend, Nicole Turpin, with 19-year-old Justin Baumgardner. Twenty-five-year-old Jason Davis, was reportedly in the pickup truck Wright was driving.
The next morning, Baumgardner’s body was found shot to death in his pickup truck in the driveway of a home not far from the Amherst County park.
With the help of Davis, who said he’d been abducted by Wright and forced to ride along for the shooting, police began to believe that murder was the result of a love triangle, and they arrested Wright just two days after the murder.
There was just one conflict: Davis was the son of an Amherst County sheriff’s deputy.
Was it a small-town cover-up?
Davis initially told police that Wright pursued Baumgardner out of the park and down the road before allegedly firing several shots at Baumgardner’s vehicle.
Wright, who was convicted of Baumgardner’s murder in December 2008 and sentenced to 67 years in prison without the possibility of parole, has maintained his innocence throughout the appeals process and has attracted the attention of several organizations that work to free wrongly convicted inmates.
There is also a website dedicated to advocating for Wright’s freedom with documentation from pre-trial media coverage as well as court documents from his case winding through the legal system.
The News and Advance reported in 2008 that thegun allegedly used to kill Baumgardner actually belonged to Davis, though Davis had claimed the gun was stolen.
One of the organizations that work on behalf of wrongly convicted inmates is Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative. Students put together an 8-minute documentary about evidence that they say doesn't add up.
Shell casings were found around Baumgardner’s truck. Those shell casings allegedly had Davis’s fingerprints—not Wright’s—on them, according to the documentary.
There are also discrepancies with Davis’s version of events according to a crime scene reconstruction expert quoted in the video. Bullet trajectory through Baumgardner’s truck did not match the story Davis told authorities.
“What is alleged to have occurred cannot have occurred, and that means the testimony on which he (Wright) was convicted is faulty,” Knox said.