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Wright to be extradited in Doisy case

Friday, October 2, 2009 | 6:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Johnny Wright isn’t talking, but he’s coming back to Columbia.

The man accused of murdering Becky Doisy in 1976 will be extradited from Georgia in about a week, according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Richard Hicks.

“At this point, that’s the decision I’ve made,” Hicks said.

Wright, 65, was arrested in Lawrenceville, Ga., last week when he filed for a criminal background check as part of a job application. Wright declined to make a statement to the two Columbia Police Department detectives who flew to Georgia to see him, Public Information Officer Jessie Haden said.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department will be in charge of the extradition once notified by the prosecutor's office.

The investigation is moving forward. Earlier this week, police located and interviewed Wright’s former roommate, Harry Moore. In 1985, after being charged with involvement in Doisy's murder, Moore told police he saw a body in Wright’s car on the night of Doisy’s disappearance. The charge against Moore was dropped, and Wright was later charged.

Moore is a key witness. There is still no physical proof that Doisy has been murdered — or is even deceased — because her body has never been found.

Haden declined to comment on the nature of Moore’s recent interview, but said that investigators would be meeting with him again. Hicks said that investigators were still looking for other witnesses and evaluating evidence from the 33-year-old case.

But it’s more than the evidence that's gotten old.

In the clerk’s office at the Boone County Courthouse, Wright’s case file — marked 1985 — contains little more than a two-page affidavit filed by then-Boone County Prosecutor Joe Moseley.

The law has changed since Wright was charged. Warrants filed in Boone County today require a probable cause statement — a police narrative detailing the events of an alleged crime and demonstrating probable cause for a suspect’s arrest. In 1985, prosecutors only had to submit a sworn affidavit that said they had enough evidence to file charges.

Hicks said he didn’t know whether he would have to re-file the murder charge against Wright.


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