Wright, 19, Brazil, was returned to the Clay County Justice Center Tuesday so he could appear before Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers Wednesday for a class D misdemeanor charge of reckless driving in Clay County. The present charges occurred before Wright's involvement in the fatal accident.
Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger told The Brazil Times the case is a separate legal matter pending against Wright originating from a reckless driving incident in May 2007.
Because Wright apparently had no criminal background at the time and was charged with committing a misdemeanor offense, he was a candidate for the pre-trial diversion program. The program allows for a case to be dismissed after a set period -- usually one year, thereby avoiding a conviction -- as long as formally negotiated and court approved legal requirements and conditions have been fulfilled.
A pre-trial diversion was negotiated and formally filed on Wright's behalf in September 2007.
The agreement was then revoked after the November accident in Putnam County.
Reberger urged the public to remember that Wright, who pled guilty in the Putnam County case, is legally considered innocent.
"These are two separate legal cases," Reberger said. "Wright is innocent until proven guilty, unless he enters a guilty plea in a court of law."
Judge Akers refused to hear a discussion about a plea agreement Wednesday, because he could not order Wright's sentence to be concurrent or consecutive with the June 12 decision handed down by Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Mathew Headley.
A legal determination will have to be made as to whether the Clay County sentence takes precedence and Putnam County adjusts their sentencing requirements or the two sentences can be connected.
Until then, Akers entered a not guilty plea on Wright's behalf and set a trial date on the matter for Sept. 16, at 1:30 p.m. Wright was placed back into the custody of the IDOC.
"At this time, we do not know if the trial will need to take place," Reberger said about the court's attempt to settle the legal technicality before the trial date. "We don't want any technicalities in this case."