Killer Of Black Couple Gets Life Sentence

A former Army paratrooper was spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison Monday in the slaying of a black couple gunned down in what prosecutors say was a skinhead initiation rite.

The jury took 1-1/2 hours to decide on the penalty for 23-year-old Malcolm Wright, one of three white soldiers from Fort Bragg charged in the case.

Wright was found guilty May 2 of murder in the deaths of Jackie Burden and Michael James, who were shot at random on a Fayetteville street.

A fellow Fort Bragg skinhead, James Burmeister, 21, was convicted as the triggerman in March and also got life in prison instead of the death penalty.

A third former soldier, Randy Meadows, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and accessory charges and agreed to testify against Wright and Burmeister. He is awaiting sentencing.

Click here to comment on this story »

Saving for the future

sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.



Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile