Suspect pleads guilty in 2008 Traskwood murders, sentenced to life

Marissa Wright

TRASKWOOD (KATV) - A Saline County woman pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to the 2008 murders of two men.

Marissa Wright, 50, took the plea deal for two counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences. The prosecuting attorney's office told Channel 7 News in a phone interview they would have pursued the death penalty if the case had gone to trial.

Joe Lee Richards Jr. and Randall Anderson's bodies were found buried in her Traskwood backyard. The court records were not sealed and detail Wright's account of the murders and burying them. Police got a search warrant to dig for the bodies because of an anonymous call in November 2010. One of the victims, Joe Lee Richards Jr. is the son of a son of a Benton alderman and former Saline County sheriff. The victims brother is also in law enforcement.

Jay Beeson, 53, is still charged with capital murder in this case but the prosecuting attorney's office said Wright's actions were the main reason Randal Anderson and Joe Lee Richards were killed. At this point, prosecutors do not plan to seek the death penalty against Beeson.

Myra Terry already pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

Marissa Wright has been linked tomurder before. She was reportedly an accomplice in the murder of Jeff Rhodes in1989, but testified for the prosecution in exchange for immunity.