Wright pleads guilty to murder of 2 Aiken women


Franklin Wright pleaded guilty this week in Aiken County to the murder of two women, adding a 55-year sentence to the life sentence he is serving in Georgia.

Wright was captured after a four-day manhunt in 2010 after he was linked to the severe beating of a Broad Street shopkeeper, Jennie Hope, and the deaths of two Aiken County women, Yana Schenker, 75, and Shalamar Byrd, 38. He pleaded guilty to several Richmond County charges, including aggravated assault and armed robbery, in January and was given a life sentence in exchange.

Aiken County Solicitor Strom Thurmond Jr. said Tuesday that Wright was extradited to Aiken County to face his charges there because they were so “horrific.”

“There needed to be an accounting for what he did to them,” Thurmond said.

Circumstantial evidence linked the deaths of the two women, who were asphyxiated and burned, and contradictory statements made by Wright pinned him as the killer, Thurmond said. For their deaths, Wright received three concurrent sentences of 30 years for murder and 25 years for second-degree arson. They will run consecutive to Wright’s life sentence in Georgia.

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Fri, 01/19/2018 - 21:23

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