New trial dates requested

Man accused of breaking baby's arm fires attorney

By Sheila G. Miller / The Bulletin

Published Dec 4, 2012 at 04:00AM

The Bend man accused of breaking his 2-month-old daughter's arm in July is now on his fourth court-appointed attorney and is requesting new trial dates.

Larry Dean Wright, Jr., 26, was arrested July 26 and remains in the Deschutes County jail in lieu of $500,000 bond. Wright is charged with three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, two counts each of first-degree and fourth-degree assault, one count of physical harassment and one count of second-degree sex abuse. The alleged victim in the first-degree assault charges is his infant daughter; the victim in the other charges is the baby's mother.

The sex abuse charge stems from Wright having sex with the baby's mother when she was underage and therefore incapable of consent.

A recently returned search warrant sheds new light on the circumstances surrounding the 26-year-old's arrest in July.

According to the search warrant, Wright and the baby's mother were full-time students at Central Oregon Community College. On July 23, they left their baby at a babysitter's home in the Pinewood Apartments around 9 a.m. The mother took the bus to school, while Wright stayed with the babysitter and the baby for a while because he had a later class.

According to police reports, Wright and the mother said they returned to the east side of Bend after classes ended, cleaned their home and ran errands before picking the baby up around 5 p.m.

The pair noticed the baby's arm was “floppy” and became concerned. Later that evening, the mother took her baby to the emergency room at St. Charles Bend just before 11:30 p.m. According to police and hospital reports included in the search warrant, the baby had suffered a spiral fracture in her right arm.

A doctor told police “substantial force” would have been required to break the baby's arm in that manner.

A doctor's report included in the search warrant states a “concern for non-accidental trauma,” and notes that in addition to the broken right arm, the baby had seven other fractures, including three ribs and one of the bones in her left leg. The report also suggested possible breaks to seven other bones. She also suffered a possible collapsed lung.

According to a police report, Wright was anxious and seemed upset about his infant's injury.

The baby's mother, who is not being identified because she is an alleged victim of domestic violence and sexual abuse, told police that when she heard her daughter's arm was broken, she called the babysitter and confronted her.

Wright told police he'd met the babysitter several weeks before and paid her $15 a day to care for their child. The baby's mother said the babysitter denied hurting the child, and also told the mother she'd left the baby with a friend while she went to an appointment.

But the baby's mother also told police that she was physically assaulted between eight and 10 times by Wright, including while pregnant with their daughter.

The woman said Wright gave her a black eye the Saturday before the baby's arm was broken, and told police the pair fought regularly, often about money.

She also told police she worried about leaving her baby with Wright, and felt the baby's injuries were her fault because she didn't leave her boyfriend after he was violent with her.

According to police reports, Wright failed a lie-detector test on July 26 and was then arrested. That same day, Wright called his father to tell him he'd failed the polygraph and said he might have accidentally hurt his baby while burping her.

Three different attorneys have withdrawn from defending Wright.

On Monday, Alana Brenneman was assigned to represent Wright, and he is due in court next Monday to set new trial dates. Wright also has a pending criminal meth possession case.

Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Kari Hathorn told Judge Wells Ashby that Wright had fired his previous attorney, Jacques DeKalb, the day before his trial.

The baby's mother watched court proceedings Monday. In an interview after the hearing, she said the couple's baby and another child she has from a previous relationship remain in foster care, although she's trying to have them moved to live with relatives.

She said she has been depressed and self-abusive since she was 13 and throughout her pregnancy, and worries that her own self-injury might have caused some of the baby's fractures.

The baby's mother also said her daughter was tested for bone disorders that might make her susceptible to injury, but the mother had not seen the test results. The tests were done after the child was taken into state custody, she said.

Before she will jump to conclusions about Wright's guilt, she wants proof.

“If it was Larry that did that, I'll never speak to him again,” the baby's mother said.

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