A former prosecutor who helped a criminal evade police will not have to go to jail after pleading guilty, paying a fine and doing community service work.
Marriya Wright worked as a deputy Spokane County prosecutor when she helped convicted felon Matthew Baumrucker last March as he tried to avoid arrest for assault. She gave Baumrucker a ride to Spokane Valley when police were searching for him.
Baumrucker eventually was tracked down and arrested. An investigation began after Spokane County Jail employees became suspicious that Wright visited Baumrucker frequently in jail even though she wasn’t involved in his case.
Investigators discovered thousands of texts between Wright and Baumrucker, who has the word “criminal” tattooed in large letters across his forehead. They also found a photo of a bikini-clad Wright in Baumrucker’s cell.
The Washington Attorney General’s Office handled the Wright prosecution at the request of the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.
A judge from Whitman County presided over the case.
Wright received a 364-day suspended sentence after pleading guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor, second-degree rendering criminal assistance. The judge fined her $1,500 with half the amount suspended, and ordered her to work 60 hours of community service along with one year of probation.
If she finishes her community service before May the remainder of her probation will be dismissed, said her attorney, Chris Bugbee. Wright already volunteers with her church and several local nonprofit agencies, Bugbee said.
“I think it was fair,” he said of her sentence.
Wright, who already has resigned her job as a prosecutor also agreed not to work in criminal prosecution in the future.
Bugbee said he anticipates that the Washington State Bar Association will now launch an investigation to determine if Wright should lose her law license.
“She would like to continue to practice law,” he said.
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