Plea agreement reached in Park Rapids homicide caseA Michigan pipeline worker admitted to the sexual strangulation of a Park Rapids woman last year and accepted a plea agreement that will result in a 41½ year prison term.
By: Sarah Smith, Park Rapids Enterprise
PARK RAPIDS — A Michigan pipeline worker admitted to the sexual strangulation of a Park Rapids woman last year and accepted a plea agreement that will result in a 41½ year prison term.
Richard Derek Wright, 42, will be transported immediately to St. Cloud prison to begin serving his term in the Jan. 29, 2008 death of Sonya Hennagir, 40, in her Park Rapids home.
The victim’s father and brother sat quietly in the Hubbard County District courtroom as attorneys led Wright through the events leading up to Hennagir’s death.
In addition to the second-degree murder count, Wright also admitted to having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor in the home after the murder.
“I lost control,” Wright testified. “It’s my fault.”
In response to prosecutor Eric Schieferdecker’s question about how long Wright choked the victim before she stopped breathing, Wright replied, “I honestly couldn’t tell you.”
The sentences, 391 months on the murder count and 108 months on the criminal sexual conduct charge, are to be served consecutively. Wright, depending on his criminal history as determined by the Department of Corrections, may serve less time.
He will be formally sentenced Sept. 24. Some of the victims and family members are expected to testify at that time.
The Park Rapids Enterprise and the Echo Press are both owned by Forum Communications Company.