Home | News | Regional | Father 'who hacked his disabled son's head off and left it by the road for his mom to see' ruled insane and found not guilty of murder

Father 'who hacked his disabled son's head off and left it by the road for his mom to see' ruled insane and found not guilty of murder

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  • Jori Lirette, 7, suffered from cerebral palsy
  • He was found beheaded and dismembered in the front yard of his Louisiana home on August 14, 2011
  • His father, Jeremiah Wright, 32, was charged with his first-degree murder and faced death by lethal injection if convicted
  • Doctors for Wright testified that he suffered from a psychotic disorder and for years lived under the delusion his son, who needed around-the-clock care, was a 'CPR dummy'
  • On Friday a Thibodaux judge found Wright not guilty of murder by reason of insanity
  • He has been confined to a state mental asylum in Jackson

By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 17:48 EST, 14 February 2014

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A father accused of hacking his disabled seven year-old son's head off with a meat cleaver and leaving it by the road for the boy's mother to see has been ruled not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.

Defense experts have successfully proven that Jeremiah Wright, 32, from Louisiana, was suffering a delusion at the time of the brutal murder of Jori Lirette, who suffered from cerebral palsy.

Wright was charged with the first degree murder of the little boy on August 14, 2011, and faced life in prison or death by lethal injection if convicted.

Expert witnesses Dr. Sarah DeLand, a director at the mental facility that treated Wright, and psychiatrist George Seiden of Shreveport, said Wright suffered from a psychotic disorder at the time of the incident, couldn't tell right from wrong and believed his son was 'a CPR dummy'.

Grotesque: Jeremiah Wright (left) is said by police to have admitted killing his son Jori Lirette (right) by chopping off his head with a meat cleaver
Grotesque: Jeremiah Wright (left) is said by police to have admitted killing his son Jori Lirette (right) by chopping off his head with a meat cleaver

Jeremiah Wright, left, was on trial for the first-degree murder of his son Jori Lirette, right, by chopping off his head, hands and feet with a meat cleaver. He was found not guilty Friday by reason of insanity

They testified that Wright thought his son was really a government social experiment and told them: 'I don't believe they can do anything to me because it wasn't a real person. His skull was made of plastic. He had foam in him.'

Wright was accused of killing and dismembering the boy after his mother Jesslyn Lirette threatened to kick him out of their Louisiana home.

A passing motorist found Jori after Wright allegedly left his head in the front yard for his mother to see.

His hands and feet were also hacked off and found in a garbage bag.

The crime scene was so gruesome that some of the police who responded to the emergency call have had to have counseling, according to AZCentral.

Investigators said the grisly killing was carried out over a kitchen sink.

The boy required around-the-clock care and was fed through a tube.

Appearance: Jeremiah Wright seen here during a court appearance in 2013. He has now been confined to a state mental hospital

Appearance: Jeremiah Wright seen here during a court appearance in 2013. He has now been confined to a state mental hospital

Mother: Jesslyn Lirette held the hands of two guards as she attended a court hearing in 2013. Her her long term boyfriend was accused of killing their son

Mother: Jesslyn Lirette held the hands of two guards as she attended a court hearing in 2013. Her her long term boyfriend was accused of killing their son

Judge John LeBlanc of Thibodaux told a court on Friday that Wright will be sent to a state mental hospital in Jackson that is often used to house criminals who have either been charged with a violent crime or have been ruled not guilty by reason of insanity, according to Houma Today.

The judge said he based his ruling off doctors' consistent evaluations that indicate Wright has long been mentally ill and, as a result, believed the world around him was not real.

'Nothing has really changed in regard to the interviews that said Mr. Wright suffered from a mental disorder during the time of the incident and that this psychotic disorder existed prior to the incident,' LeBlanc said during the hearing.

'He couldn't understand the difference between right and wrong and he still suffers the same delusions and disorders today.'

From the bench, LeBlanc spoke directly to Jori Lirette's family members.

'This was absolutely the only decision that could be made based on the medical history and testimony in the court,' the judge said.

'It is not a good day for you, it is not a good day for anyone involved, but it is a day we must all face because it is the only decision that could be rendered in this case.'

Devastated: A distraught Jesslyn Lirette speaks a the candlit vigil for her murdered disabled seven-year-old son Jori following his death in 2011

Devastated: A distraught Jesslyn Lirette speaks a the candlit vigil for her murdered disabled seven-year-old son Jori following his death in 2011

After Jori's body was discovered it was revealed that his mother had previously warned police that Wright wanted her son dead.

The week before Jori was born, Jesslyn obtained a restraining order against Wright after he 'broke the baby's piggy bank' and 'shoved her onto a pile of CDs on the bed'.

Then, when Jori was just six-months-old, she obtained another similar order after he called her and said he 'was tired of seeing the baby suffer' and wanted him dead.

Details of the orders, which Jesslyn apparently allowed to lapse, were revealed in sworn statements she made in 2004 and made part of the official court record.

Thibodaux Police Lt. Kim Favalora said in a statement to a court in early 2013 that: 'Wright was very matter-of-fact as he calmly explained that he thought for years that Jori was not his son.

Wright's doctors said for years he lived under the delusion his son was a 'dummy' as part of a psychotic disorder

Wright's doctors said for years he lived under the delusion his son was a 'dummy' as part of a psychotic disorder

'Wright said that he recently saw the way the dummy looked at him and there were signs and little things the dummy did to him that let him know that Jori was not his son, but a dummy.'

Favalora said Wright told police that 'he was tired of taking care of the dummy. Wright said that as soon as he realized that Jori was a dummy, and not his son, he 'started contemplating on killing him.'

The document said Wright admitted to arguing with Jesslyn the previous night and that he expected to be kicked out of the house.

Wright has a previous criminal history that includes arrests for drugs, burglary and contempt.

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