Douglas Franklin Wright (1 Viewer)


Douglas Franklin Wright

Classification: Serial killer
Number of victims: 7 +
Date of murders: 1969 / 1984 / 1991
Date of birth: March 25, 1940
Victims profile: An Oregon woman and her mother / Luke Tredway, 10-year-old boy / Four homeless men
Method of murder: ??? / Shooting (.357 Sturm Ruger Blackhawk)
Location: Oregon, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Oregon on September 6, 1996

Douglas Franklin Wright (1940-03-25 - 1996-09-06) was the first criminal executed by lethal injection in Oregon on September 6th, 1996.

His crime

Wright was sentenced to death on 1993-10-11 for luring three homeless white men to a remote area of Wasco County aboard the Warm Springs Indian Reservation with a false promise of work, and then killing them.

Wright later admitted killing a fourth man, one Anthony Nelson, a Makah Indian. If Wright had not quit his appeal process, he would have been tried before a federal court in the Nelson case because killing a Native American is a federal crime.

Douglas Franklin Wright

Wasco County - Oregon

Born: 3/25/40

Sentenced to death: 10/11/1993

Wright was convicted of killing three street people. He would lure them from a homeless shelter to the Warm Springs Reservation with a promise of work and then kill them. After the Oregon Supreme Court upheld his conviction and sentence, Wright, 56, abandoned the rest of his appeals.

Interesting fact: Wright admitted killing a fourth man, Anthony S. Nelson, 31. Had Wright avoided execution, he would have been tried in federal court because Nelson was a member of the Makah Tribe.

Douglas Franklin Wright

On Friday, September 6, 1996, Inmate Douglas Franklin Wright, 56, became the first person executed by lethal injection in Oregon.

With promises of jobs, the convicted murderer lured five homeless men to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in 1991 and shot four of them in cold blood. The fifth man escaped and alerted police.

Wright was convicted on October 6, 1993 of eight counts of aggravated murder, among other crimes, for three of the murders. In the days leading up to his execution he confessed to an additional kidnapping and murder in 1984, that of a ten-year-old boy.

Oregon Execute Killer

September 7, 1996

New York Times

A man who admitted killing three homeless men and a 10-year-old boy he lured off the streets was executed today in Oregon.

The execution in Oregon was the first there in 37 years.

In Oregon, the condemned man, Douglas Franklin Wright, had no final words but mouthed, ''I'm sorry,'' to the mother of one of his victims before he died. She nodded.

Mr. Wright, 56, had refused to appeal his execution. He was charged with killing a fourth homeless man, but that case never went to trial. He served 12 years in prison for the 1969 murders of an Oregon woman and her mother. Last week, he confessed to kidnapping, molesting and killing a 10-year-old boy who disappeared from Portland 12 years ago.

Oregon is the only state where voters have outlawed capital punishment twice, in 1914 and 1964. They voted to re-establish it in 1920 and 1978.

19 F.3d 1442

United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee,
Douglas Franklin Wright, Defendant-appellant

United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted March 8, 1994.
Decided March 18, 1994

Before: BROWNING, KOZINSKI and NOONAN, Circuit Judges.


Wright appeals his conviction and sentence for two counts of violating 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922(g).

A. Wright first argues the district court erred in not changing venue because it should have presumed prejudice. The record, however, does not demonstrate a level of "prejudicial and inflammatory media publicity" such that prejudice should have been presumed. United States v. Rewald, 889 F.2d 836, 863 (9th Cir.1989), amended 902 F.2d 18 (9th Cir.1990); Harris v. Pulley, 885 F.2d 1354, 1361 (9th Cir.1988). While we are mindful of the difficulties inherent in questioning prospective jurors as to their knowledge of Wright's background, the district court properly dealt with the situation by asking whether they recognized Wright by face or appearance. See Mu'Min v. Virginia, 111 S.Ct. 1899, 1906 (1991) (noting wide discretion granted trial judge in this area).

Wright makes much of the fact that, after questioning by the district court, one juror indicated that he had heard something about the charges pending against Wright. This post-trial questioning was discretionary with the district court and did not reveal that any information about these charges played a role in the jury's deliberations. While Wright contends the district court erred in denying his request for post-verdict juror interviews and in not, at a minimum, holding an evidentiary hearing upon learning about one juror's vague recollection, we conclude the district court did not abuse its "considerable discretion" in this area. See United States v. Barrett, 703 F.2d 1076, 1083 (9th Cir.1983).

B. In both his opening brief and his supplemental brief after remand, Wright challenges the district court's denial of his motion for a Franks hearing. Although Wright contends that the district court applied an incorrect legal standard in ruling on the motion, our review of the record indicates otherwise. See, e.g., ER at 22. And in applying the correct standard, the district court properly denied Wright's request. Wright did not make a substantial preliminary showing that Agent Samuel either deliberately or recklessly omitted a material fact from his affidavit. United States v. DiCesare, 765 F.2d 890, 894 (9th Cir.), amended 777 F.2d 543 (9th Cir.1985). In any event, addition of the facts Wright asserts were omitted would not negate the showing of probable cause. Id. at 895.

Wright's request to subpoena Magistrate Juba was properly denied as any such testimony would have been irrelevant. Lastly, because a Franks hearing was not necessary, the district court was justified in denying Wright's request to cross-examine Agent Samuel as to his supplemental affidavit; as the court has made clear, it never relied on that affidavit. See District Court Order of 9/30/93 at 4-5.

C. Wright asserts that there wasn't probable cause to believe he'd committed a crime, let alone to search his apartment and car. The record, however, flatly contradicts this claim. There was plenty of evidence for the magistrate to "conclude that it would be reasonable to seek the evidence" in Wright's apartment and car. United States v. Peacock, 761 F.2d 1313, 1315 (9th Cir.1985); see United States v. Bertrand, 926 F.2d 838, 842 (9th Cir.1991). Samuel's affidavit adequately supported such a conclusion and, contrary to Wright's assertions, it was not ambiguous as to where to look.

D. Nor are we persuaded by Wright's claim that the gun found in his car should have been suppressed because the warrant authorized the search of a pickup truck. Although Wright argues that under the criteria of United States v. Turner, 770 F.2d 1508, 1511 (9th Cir.1985), the search here was illegal, we conclude that Turner supports the search. While the warrant's description was partially inaccurate, it was sufficiently particular "to enable the executing officer to locate and identify the premises with reasonable effort"; in addition, there was not a "reasonable probability that another premise might be mistakenly searched." Id. at 1510.

E. Wright challenges the inclusion of his 1969 assault conviction in his criminal history score. We find this conviction was properly counted under U.S.S.G. Sec. 4A1.2(e)(1). Looking to Fed.R.Crim.P. 45(a), we count back fifteen years from the day before commencement of the offense at issue--August 30, 1991--and find Wright spending his last day in prison for the 1969 assault.

F. Finally, Wright's uncounted prior convictions properly served as a basis for upward departure under U.S.S.G. Sec. 4A1.3(a). The district court adequately explained its reasons for departing and the basis of its departure, see United States v. Cruz-Ventura, 979 F.2d 146, 150 (9th Cir.1992); United States v. Notrangelo, 909 F.2d 363, 367 (9th Cir.1990), and the extent of its departure was reasonable.


79 F.3d 112

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Douglas Franklin WRIGHT, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 95-30054

United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted January 10, 1996--Portland, Oregon
Filed March 7, 1996

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon Owen M. Panner, Chief District Judge, Presiding
Before: John T. Noonan, Jr., Edward Leavy and Michael Daly Hawkins, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by Judge Hawkins

HAWKINS, Circuit Judge:

The events central to consideration of this appeal, which would become known as the Warm Springs Murders, were set in motion in the Fall of 1991 when two young homeless men were approached in downtown Portland by a man offering them work outside the city. One of the young men was Randy Henry, who sometimes used the name Marty McDaniel. The other was McDaniel's friend Tony Nelson. The pair accepted the man's offer and left with him in a Toyota bearing Oregon license plates.

After a brief stop at the driver's apartment in a nearby town, the trio drove to the Mt. Hood area. They then drove off the highway and into a forested area which, it turns out, was within the exterior boundaries of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Exiting the Toyota, the driver and Tony Nelson walked away from the car while McDaniel stood facing the opposite direction. Suddenly McDaniel heard a gunshot.

Turning to the direction of the sound, he saw the driver with a long-barrelled revolver.

McDaniel did not stop to ask questions, but sprinted off barefoot through the woods to the highway where he was able to flag down a motorist named Ervie Dominguez. Dominguez drove McDaniel to a rest area and called the police. While Dominguez was calling authorities, McDaniel left the area.

Two days later, hunters found the body of Tony Nelson. The next day agents located McDaniel in downtown Portland. Following a series of interviews in the area, the FBI located a man who had been in prison with defendant and who was able to identify him as the man who had earlier picked up Nelson and McDaniel.

Using motor vehicle registration information, agents determined that defendant owned a Toyota with Oregon plates, was employed in a neighboring community, and listed an apartment as his address. McDaniel identified the apartment house, but was unable to pick defendant out of a photo lineup. While this investigation was unfolding, ballistics tests indicated that the firearm which had killed Tony Nelson had also killed an Anthony Barker, whose body had been discovered a few days before and within one mile of the location where Nelson's body was found.

Utilizing the information gathered to that point in the investigation, agents obtained a search warrant for defendant's car and apartment. The execution of those warrants produced two weapons, one of which was a .357 Sturm Ruger Blackhawk. Subsequent ballistics tests tied the .357 to both the Nelson and Barker deaths.

A cooperative effort involving state, federal and tribal officials, the Warm Springs murder investigation eventually produced four victims and a jurisdictional jigsaw puzzle. Because defendant had a prior felony conviction, his possession of the two firearms could be charged in either state or federal court.

Defendant and three of the victims were non-Indians, but Tony Nelson was a member of the Makah Tribe. All of the bodies had been found on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. McDaniel placed the site of the Nelson murder there. The result was that the State of Oregon had jurisdiction over the three other victims, but the Nelson murder was purely a federal matter.

The charges against defendant thereafter proceeded as follows: (1) the felon-in-possession charges went to trial in federal court where defendant was convicted of all counts; (2) Oregon then went forward with the murder charges involving the non-Indian victims, where defendant was convicted and sentenced to death; and (3) the United States indicted defendant on the Nelson murder, which charges were headed for a bench trial before the motions leading to this appeal.

The present interlocutory appeal involves the district court's pre-trial order denying defendant's motion to dismiss the Nelson murder charges against him based on a claimed double jeopardy violation, due process grounds, and the district court's supervisory power to dismiss indictments for prosecutorial excess. We have jurisdiction over defendant's double jeopardy claim, Abney v. United States, 431 U.S. 651, 662 (1977), and we affirm. We dismiss defendant's remaining claims for lack of jurisdiction.

A. Double Jeopardy

We review de novo the district court's denial of a motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds. United States v. Lun, 944 F.2d 642, 644 (9th Cir. 1991).

Under the test set forth in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932), double jeopardy exists if the second offense contains elements identical to, or included as a subset within, the elements of the former charge. Defendant concedes that the United States is not barred under Blockburger from trying him for murder after having convicted him of being a felon in possession. Defendant contends, however, that the United States should be barred from pursuing the present prosecution pursuant to a line of double jeopardy cases including Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161 (1977), Harris v. Oklahoma, 433 U.S. 682 (1977), Illinois v. Vitale, 447 U.S. 410 (1980), and Grady v. Corbin, 495 U.S. 508 (1990), which he contends establish a second double jeopardy test that focuses on the conduct for which the defendant was previously prosecuted rather than the elements of the previous offense.

Defendant's argument is foreclosed by the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Dixon, _____ U.S. _____, 113 S. Ct. 2849 (1993), which overruled Grady and which made clear that, contrary to defendant's contention, Brown, Harris and Vitale did not themselves establish a same-conduct double jeopardy test. Because the test set forth in Blockburger is the only test for analyzing a double jeopardy claim and because defendant admits and we agree that the present prosecution is not barred under this test, the district court properly denied defendant's motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds.
B. Remaining Claims

Defendant, contending that the federal government has wrongfully conspired with the State of Oregon to subject him to successive prosecutions, also appeals the district court's refusal to dismiss his indictment under the due process clause and pursuant to the district court's inherent supervisory power. Because these claims do not fall within the narrow category of claims reviewable on interlocutory appeal pursuant to the doctrine set forth in Abney v. United States, 431 U.S. 651, 662 (1977), we dismiss the remainder of defendant's appeal for lack of jurisdiction.


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