Habitual criminal status sought
State prosecutors want a Fargo man deemed a habitual criminal before he faces two charges of rape. Jeffrey Wayne Wright, 37, 1717 40th St. S. in Fargo, could face life in prison if the judge makes that ruling and Wright is convicted. A hearing sc...
State prosecutors want a Fargo man deemed a habitual criminal before he faces two charges of rape.
Jeffrey Wayne Wright, 37, 1717 40th St. S. in Fargo, could face life in prison if the judge makes that ruling and Wright is convicted.
A hearing scheduled Wednesday in Cass County District Court for arguments on the issue was postponed.
Wright also faces charges of felonious restraint, terrorizing, burglary and criminal trespass. Previously, he pleaded innocent to all the charges.
Benjamin Pulkrabek, a Mandan, N.D., attorney who represents Wright, asked for the postponement Wednesday because of poor driving conditions.
No makeup date has been scheduled.
Court records show prosecutors want East Central District Judge Norman Backes to rule Wright's prior convictions make him a habitual criminal.
In Illinois, Wright was convicted two times each of criminal sexual assault and burglary between 1986 and 1994.
In 1996, he was convicted of burglary in North Dakota.
North Dakota state law allows a judge to find someone a habitual criminal if the person has two or more felonies as an adult.
In the newest charges, court records show two women told police they were raped by Wright.
One woman said Wright threatened her with a knife and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him in July, records show.
A second woman told officers she gave Wright a ride to his home Aug. 23 after arriving at her apartment complex to visit friends, records show.
The woman told officers she didn't know Wright. Upon arriving at his residence, Wright threatened the woman and took away her cell phone and car keys, records show.
An apartment tenant called police after seeing a man force a crying woman into an unlocked garage. Police opened the garage and found Wright with his underwear and pants around his ankles, records show.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Steven P. Wagner at (701) 241-5542