Trial opens for man charged with murdering 85-year-old... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Trial opens for man charged with murdering 85-year-old grandmother

Darrel Wright, Jr. Darrel Wright, Jr.
Craig Robinson Craig Robinson

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Trial began Tuesday for an Aiea man accused of savagely beating his grandmother to death two years ago.

Prosecutors say Darrel Wright, Jr. punched Mary Sobrado, 85, in the head with such force that she suffered multiple skull fractures and died. But in clinical psychologist Craig Robinson's opinion, the defendant should not be held criminally responsible.

"He appeared to be dazed, confused, and unaware of his surroundings and what was happening. Now that would have been the HPD officer observing him after they arrived on the scene," Robinson, who was appointed by the court to examine the defendant, said.

Robinson believes the 51-year-old, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, could distinguish between right and wrong, but lacked the volitional capacity to control his behavior. Just prior to the incident with his grandmother, Wright reportedly attacked staffers at the Queen's Medical Center during a three-week stay at the hospital.

"He hit one of the Queen's staff members while going to the bathroom. He was put in four-point restraint," Robinson testified. "He was described as aggressive towards a lab technician with no apparent provocation."

Robinson says Wright was admitted to the Queen's Medical Center on November 20, 2009, after he threw himself in front of a car. He was discharged from the hospital on December 11, 2009.

The deadly beating happened five days later.

Prosecutors say the defendant had had it with his grandmother because she nagged him about taking his pills. They say Wright, himself, called 911 and was articulate when explaining the situation to emergency responders.

"He appeared to be coherent, not confused. He was able to answer all of their questions properly. Isn't that correct?" Charlene Ikeda, deputy prosecutor, said.

Wright has opted to have Circuit Judge Randal Lee decide his case, instead of a 12-member jury. If convicted of second-degree murder, he could receive an enhanced sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole because the victim was over the age of 60.

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