Guilty plea filed in startling case of two murders

BENTON (KATV) - It was just around a year ago when the search for a missing person turned up two buried bodies in the backyard of a Saline County home.

On Wednesday, a guilty plea was filed for both murders.

Marissa Wright of Traskwood has been the prime suspect all along for the murders of Randal Anderson and Joe Lee Richards Jr. facing a possible death penalty.

A Saline County filing with Wright's official letter pleading guilty to the killings, will give her a life sentence in prison.

"They had caution tape. The police caution tape, from the corner of my fence right here by my dog pen, all the way across my backyard," said neighbor Bryan Fuesling.

Fuesling lived next door to Wright during the years those crimes took place, and when the bodies were later discovered in Traskwood. He recounts the day when police pulled more than just evidence from the scene.

"It was pretty spooky at the time. We were all nervous seeing all the vehicles and police cars and everything," Fuesling added.

Court records show one of the murders was in February of 2008 while the other took place in October of 2010. Saline County's Prosecuting Attorney, Ken Cassady, said his department took a hard look at asking for the death penalty against Wright.

"It is something we would pursue and we thought about pursuing," Cassady said. "In these situations, we talked with the families; consider the pros and cons of pursuing it with a case like that."

The Wright family declined to speak with us, but Fuesling still considers his neighbors close friends even through this shocking investigation.

"Unfortunately it didn't go the way I hoping it to go, but I guess people get what they get," he said.

To add another startling twist to the file of Marissa Wright, court accounts said she played a part in the 1989 death of Jeffrey Rhodes. That murder was mentioned in the book The Boys on The Tracks. Wright was given immunity to testify in the case.

Another suspect, Jay Beeson, is facing a capital murder charge but Cassady told us they will not pursue the death penalty against him.