By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
We previously reported HERE the bizarre case of Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Marriya Wright who was charged with Rendering Criminal Assistance in the First Degree after a relationship she had with a wanted felon. She was alleged to have assisted him escape justice. Yet, after he was located and incarcerated, Marriya continued her correspondence through multiple visits and even provided him a bikini photo of herself. The relationship ultimately cost Marriya her job and led to criminal charges.
Felon Matthew Baumrucker described a “Cinderella Story” of a relationship between a couple from the opposite side of the tracks and the law.
But this Cinderella story did not have a fairytale ending. To avoid being tried by her peers, or more accurately, prosecuted by her peers, Marriya pleaded guilty to Rendering Criminal Assistance.
For review, during the time when Matthew was a fugitive from justice, Spokane Police detectives allege that Marriya and Matthew exchanged over 1,200 text messages during his run from the law. He had an outstanding arrest warrant for drug possession and was wanted for investigation in an assault case.
Documents revealed that during the time that Matthew was wanted, witnesses stated he contacted Marriya asking for help in avoiding arrest. Security video showed two, who investigators believe is Marriya and Matthew, in her red SUV during the time he was wanted by authorities. Records showed she gave Matthew and one of his friends a ride to a trailer in the Spokane Valley. Witnesses told detectives they heard Marriya tell Matthew to “take care of his warrants,” but they say Marriya never made an attempt to turn him over to police according to court documents.
Once authorities located and arrested Matthew, Marriya seemed to not be able to resist staying in touch.
Jail staff became suspicious when Marriya visited Matthew ten times within a month and at one point she furnished him with a photo showing her in a bikini.
These career limiting trysts culminated in a Spokane courtroom where she pleaded guilty. Facing the possibility of jail time, Marriya asked the court to consider her actions in that they were misguided and actually stemmed from her desire to help a fellow person. She stated this was a one-time incident reflecting her belief that Matthew could be rehabilitated.
She informed the court that her faith taught her not to judge people by their appearance, especially those it would seem who have the word “Criminal” tattooed across their forehead.
Her peers recommended one year of probation with no jail time. The court ruled that Marriya should have followed a higher standard of professionalism and sentenced her to probation with sixty hours community service and a fine. Her employment with the county was terminated and there is a strong possibility she will face a disciplinary hearing before the state bar association.
By Darren Smith
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