Former MacDill Sergeant found guilty of killing girlfriend, son - WFLA News Channel 8

Former MacDill Sergeant found guilty of murdering girlfriend, son

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Ralph Wright, on the left, in court during his murder trial. Ralph Wright, on the left, in court during his murder trial.
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

A jury has found former MacDill Sgt. Ralph Wright guilty of strangling to death his former girlfriend Paula O'Conner and his 15 month old son Alijah in 2007. The two victims were found dead in O'Conner's St. Petersburg home on July 6, 2007.

The verdict came down Thursday afternoon in a Pinellas Courtroom.

During the three week trial, prosecutors drove home the point that the toddler, Alijah, was the main target. Before the murders, O'Conner had filed a paternity suit against Wright and was seeking child support. She also needed help paying for medical bills because Alijah was born with heart defects and had several surgeries.

Prosecutors also told the jury a military pilot's glove was found at the murder scene.

Wright's attorney, Bill Bennett, said investigators ignored other tips and leads and only focused on Wright as a suspect. Attorney William Bennett pointed at O'Conner's teenaged daughter, Victoria. She benefited from a $540,000 insurance policy upon the deaths of her mother and step-brother.

The state is seeking the death penalty. The sentencing phase of the trial will begin Friday.

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