When Does A Prosecutor’s Personal Life Become Relevant To Professional Performance? I Believe This Would Be An Example…

Love is blind.

Love is blind.

In Washington State, a Spokane County deputy prosecutor named Marriya Wright has resigned her position following the discovery of a photograph of her in a bikini (posing in a bodybuilding competition) in the possession of  Matthew Baumrucker, an inmate in the Spokane County Jail notable for having the word “criminal” tattooed on his forehead.

Police have determined that Baumrucker and Wright corresponded via text or phone calls 1,280 times between February 6 and March 5, during the time that the inmate was being investigated for his alleged role in an assault. On March 3, police were trying to find Baumrucker in connection with the assault charge, and found him in an apartment with a woman who later told police that Baumrucker had received legal advice from a woman he called  “Marriya.” Baumrucker told the woman that “Marriya told him she didn’t have to let the police in to search if they did not have a search warrant.” Another witness told police that they saw Baumrucker meet Wright in a car at a nearby gas station, and “overheard Marriya telling Baumrucker he needed to get his warrants taken care of.”   Surveillance video obtained by police confirms Baumrucker got into Wright’s vehicle at that gas station.

As an officer of the court, Wright was obligated to tell Baumrucker to turn himself in, or report him herself.

Court documents unsealed last week revealed thousands of text messages between the two. At the time police began their assault investigation, Baumrucker was facing drug and assault charges. Now they are investigating Wright’s relationship with Baumrucker and the possibility of charging her with rendering criminal assistance.

A Spokane County corrections officer told police that Wright visited Baumrucker in the jail several times using the attorney-client booth. If Wright was acting as a prosecutor, she was violating legal ethics rules, because she can’t speak with him unless his defense lawyer is present. If she was acting as his lawyer, that’s an even more egregious ethics violation, because a prosecutor can’t serve as a defense attorney for someone being prosecuted by her office.

I think it’s pretty clear that she wasn’t acting as a lawyer at all.

Wright’s attorney, Chris Bugbee, is certainly giving his absurd client’s conduct the best spin he can come up with without laughing. “Here’s the bottom line. Miss Wright is a good person who overlooked what a lot of people think are some damning things which are the tattoos on this person’s face,” he said. Also overlooked by Wright: that she works for the people of Spokane and not individuals who violate the city’s laws; that a prosecutor playing groupie to a criminal does not enhance the public trust in law enforcement; and that assisting a criminal defendant is a gross violation of loyalty to her client, the district attorney’s office.

Bugbee’s story is that Wright is just a good-hearted soul who tried to bring God into the life of a troubled man and got carried away. I’d love to know what church employs pictures of female bodybuilding prosecutors in bikinis. “She used poor judgment in making some decisions,” Bugbee says. Now I’m really sorry I used “Ya think?” in a recent post, because if ever a statement screamed out for a “Ya think?,” it is that one.

Assuming that Wright avoids criminal charges herself, a big assumption, I think she needs to consider another area of the law.This irresistible attraction she has for men with “criminal” written on their foreheads really makes it hard to take her seriously as a prosecutor.


Pointer:KXLY, Res Ipsa Loquitur

Graphic: KXLY

6 thoughts on “When Does A Prosecutor’s Personal Life Become Relevant To Professional Performance? I Believe This Would Be An Example…

  1. I bet you could increase church attendance a lot if you employed pictures of female bodybuilding prosecutors. Hey, some churches have put McDonalds’ in their churches. I didn’t say it was right…

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