NBC Dateline’s “Suspicion” Aired On February 03, 2012
NBC DATELINE - Part 1
A loft apartment in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, is home to an eclectic group of residents. When a wealthy businessman starts working with two of them a chain of events is set in motion that leaves one of them dead, another arrested for murder.
Since this episode aired on NBC, even more supportive information has appeared.
In 2018, Chris filed a bar complaint against his prosecutor. We will soon post a section with both the handwritten complaint itself as well as commentary.
Chris was forced to write his complaint by hand because a paper and writing instrument was all he had.
Chris was forced to battle for his freedom without access to computers or to a constitutionally mandated legal library.
In March of 2020, right as the pandemic restrictions were being enforced, Chris’s bar complaint was denied. This was done in a secret Zoom meeting hearing. More details about this travesty will be posted no later than by the summer of 2022.
NBC DATELINE - Part 2
After a wealthy businessman is gunned down in a brazen attack, Detective Dean Carriger is tasked with finding the killer. Is a call from a cell phone the key to the case?
Morrison: The trouble in the family didn’t stop with Darick.
Det. Carriger: There seems to be a rift.
NOTE: Don’t forget as you read this next section and hear the recording that when Robert Dolezsar heard of his brother Ken’s murder, Robert dropped to his knees and yelled: “It’s that F***ing Darick!”
Let’s talk about this rift a little bit. it’s not the kind of rift normal families are used to. It’s not an uncle who drinks too much at a Christmas Party or your cousin who married that guy with the long hair and tattoos.
We’re talking about two sides of a divorce between two people who are in Federal prison at the time of the murder. One side of the family is working on an investigation to put members of the other side of the family in prison. Both sides are competitors in the multi-level marketing industry with millions of dollars at stake.
Continue Reading to hear Dee Mower’s son Robert Steed talking about the investigation that was intended to put two of Dee’s other son’s Tommy and Darick in prison with their father, Tom Mower, Sr.
Ken was the center point of this investigation according to Robert Steed. The fact that this investigation was based on crimes allegedly committed in Eastern Europe and Russia becomes important because of something the eyewitness to Ken’s murder said. He said the shooter sounded Eastern European or Slavic.
The two people that Robert Steed says that the police need to talk to in order to learn more about this plan to get incriminating information on Tom, Tommy and Darick are Robert Dolezar. Ken’s brother and Cheris Darick, Mower’s ex-wife. At the end of this interview the two officers who are conducting the interview sound as if they were about to go interview Cheris Darick, Mower’s ex-wife.
Nothing has ever been turned over to the defense about any future contact with Cheris of Robert Dolezsar the victim’s brother. Upon hearing the news of his brother’s murder from police, Robert falls to the ground and yells: “It’s that F***ing Darick”. Are we to assume that neither Robert nor Ceris had anything to say? That the police never spoke to the victim’s brother again? Much more ahead. You get to decide if this is part of a larger pattern of behavior by the people who handled this case.
NBC DATELINE - Part 4
Bianca Pearman-Brooks: I know for certain… categorically that Christopher didn’t do it. Morrison: In fact, the police and prosecutor had it all wrong she insisted. And it wasn’t just that Chris had an alibi for the morning of the murder. No she said it was the whole case, it was all wrong.
Chris’ DNA in the car, for example, of course it was there she said. Chris admitted he’d been in the car, but weeks before the murder. But, get this, the steering wheel especially and all of the car was covered with DNA and fingerprints that did not match Chris.
Few people today know how far DNA analysis has come. A single skin cell picked up when an area is swabbed with cotton and the cotton is sent for analysis can give a person’s whole genetic profile. The human body sheds 30-40 thousand skin cells per minute. Simply talking over an object that is later swabbed can have your profile as a part of the result. Somebody who shakes your hand and then grabs a doorknob can leave your profile along with theirs if that doorknob is later swabbed for analysis.
It is for this reason that it is so important to have an expert testify for the defense. Police and prosecutors will always try to claim that evidence is more conclusive than it is. In this case the police and prosecutor did fr more than that – more on that later.
It was not until long after Chris Wright was convicted that an expert in DNA analysis was contacted to review this case. The analyst’s name is Greg Hampikian and his affidavit is below:
Greg Hampikian Affidavit 11/29/12
Dr Hampikian’s analysis was done about six months late for it to have been included in the Dateline.
All of the shows that the last person to drive the vehicle was the shooter. Not to mention that he drove away with bare hands.
Knowing that you may ask yourself how could the state have even attempted to present an “unknown male” all over the steering wheel and driver’s seat while Chris Wright was excluded from those areas as proof of his guilt. Well… that’s why you’ll never be a prosecutor like Josh Player or an investigator like Dean Carriger.
The first thing you do is take all of the testing that was done on the inside of Ken’s car and spread it out over three separate analysts. Now you make sure this analysis don’t know the facts of the case or the purpose of the testing. Finally when you question the analysis go over basic DNA science for hours before any results of the testing. A jury is half asleep by then. Gloss over the results never even using the words “last driver” or anything to the effect of “last driver” in days of DNA related testimony: As though finding out who the last driver was is not the whole purpose of the testing. Then you can say anything you want in closing arguments. The jury never even got to see the analysts final reports which could have at least clarified things a bit if you had the three reports together.
What you have so far covers the basics of what you need to know regarding DNA and this case. If you are the type that likes to dive deep, keep reading.
To give you an idea of how central this misrepresentation of the DNA evidence was to the case a few quotes from Josh Player’s closing arguments are in order:
“And we know that the same individual that shot Ken Dolezsar is the same individual that temporarily took that truck and drove it away from the crime scene. So there is no issue about that either. The issue is: ‘Who did it?’
“Evidence, a DNA type that’s only one in 546 is found on the driver’s seat door of the victim’s car. An Wright has that DNA type. What does that mean to us? That means the shooter has the same DNA as this Defendant.”
At no point did any of the state’s three DNA analysts say anything that supported Josh Player’s contention that Chris Wright was the last driver of the vehicle. In order to know that though the jury would have had to have been scientists with the attention span of a chess master picking out bits from days of non-stop testimony steeped in scientific jargon. At no point was anything made understandable or brought together into a big picture.
A bigger picture could have been given had the defense counsel retained a DNA analyst to review the case. Hampikian later testified for Chris Wright’s appeal in a gy of hearing called a 23B. On May 27, 2014 four years after Chris Wright’s conviction Hampikian was questioned and testified as follows:
Q. With the DNA evidence found on the steering wheel of the “major contributor” being an “unknown male” and the defendant himself being excluded as having touched that steering wheel, if he had driven that vehicle that day when the vehicle was recovered shortly after the murder would we expect to find his DNA on the steering wheel?”
Hampikian: I would expect to find his DNA on the steering wheel.
Q. The fact that we did not find his DNA on the steering wheel, did that lead you to a conclusion that you would emphasize to the defence team as a possible theory of their case?
Hampikian: I think it is very significant that he is not found on the steering wheel. That someone else is found on the steering wheel. I think that should be a hallmark of the evidence in this case. That’s why this is sample one. It was very important to find out whose hands were on that steering wheel, who left DNA on that steering wheel. There is in fact a profile and it is an unknown male.
Let’s not forget that Josh Player told the jury that Chris Wright and the shooter have the same DNA type. A damning statement that was believed by the jury. Let’s see what Hampikian has to say about Josh Player’s claims:
Q. Had you been retained as an expert and consulted with the Defense at trial counsel on this case, in light of all the evidence that was recovered inside the vehicle and all the DNA profiles, was there sufficient evidence to support a claim that Mr. Wright was identified as being inside that vehicle?
Hampikian: No, absolutely not. He was never identified through DNA as having been in that vehicle. There is a match to a mixture with a statistic of 517. That’s not a DNA identification.
Keep in mind that as a driver’s hands are on the steering wheel his butt is in the seat cushion. Hampikian stated the following:
Q. With that in mind would you have brought to the Defense team’s attention the fact that Mr. Wright’s DNA was excluded from the seat cushion as relevant evidence to show that he was not the last driver of the vehicle?
Hampikian: You know, I think of all these samples that he is excluded would support the same conclusion that he was not the last person to use the car but I still say the steering wheel is probably the best in my view.
For those who don’t know what “major contributor” means in this context. The fact that the “unknown male” on the steering wheel is the “major contributor” means that there is more DNA from this “unknown male” on the steering wheel than there is from Ken. Ken is the owner of the vehicle who just drove about an hour to get to the meeting where he was killed. The shooter drives away in the victim’s car and the car is found a few blocks away.
How are you going to argue that anybody is going to have more of their DNA on the steering wheel than Ken without having been the last driver? Four witnesses, the lead detective and the prosecutor all point to the last driver being the shooter. The last driver was not Chris Wright but the jury never knew.
For those of you with any illusions about how fast the criminal justice system works in America you might assume that Chris Wright is no longer in prison. After all Hampikian’s testimony was given in 2014 and his affidavit was from 2012.
I am Chris Wright and I am writing this in my cell late at night by a very dim light. I refer to myself in the third person when writing about this case to make it easier to understand for the reader.
Det Carriger: The sergeant from the district attorney’s office just happened to call me and ask “Hey, did you ever look in that gun case? Was there a shell casing or anything in that gun case?”
Morrison: She was focussed like a laser that day, said Bianca, watching intently, she said, as an officer looked in the empty 9 millimeter gun case.
Bianca: I was sitting beside her.
Morrison: No test fired shell casing, she said.
Bianca: I don’t mean to sound cynical but I know it wasn’t there.
As it turns out there is quite a bit to support Bianca’s contention that the test fire casing was not there.
At the time the shell casing was allegedly found, Carriger had a preliminary hearing that was fast approaching in which he needed to show that there was enough evidence to continue to hold Chris Wright and to take Chris to trial.
As it turns out it was the day after the DNA analyst’s report came out showing an “unknown male” on the steering wheel of the victim’s car, with no Chris Wright, that Det Carriger went to the evidence room by himself and allegedly discovered the shell casing.
That DNA report was a real problem for Carriger’s case as you know if you read the footnote on DNA. The DNA report that they tried to use to connect Chris Wright to the victim’s vehicle at trial didn’t come out until almost a year and a half and some desperate analyst shopping later.
The first story that Carriger and Josh Player gave to Chris Wright’s attorney was that the shell casing was tucked deep under the egg crating of the gun case and that was the reason it was not found in the first search of the gun case.
At the preliminary hearing on April 25th 2008 Christy Scribner, the officer who was checking in evidence during the search of Chris Wright’s home with Bianca sitting right next to her, was questioned and answered as follows:
Q: Okay, when you found the gun case, what was unusual about it compared to all the other gun cases that you found?
Scribner: We matched all the firearms to specific gun cases that had the serial numbers and everything like that. There just wasn’t anything in this so we just collected it took pictures of the serial numbers and I sealed it.
Q: Okay, when you received the case did you ever – did you go through it at that point?
Scribner: We opened it up to see if there was a firearm in it. When there was no firearm, we closed it again and sealed it, and took it as evidence.
As Scribner does more than once while under oath, she later changed her testimony and suddenly she never looked in the gun case. The idea that a crime scene technician is not going to look in the case of a weapon that is the same type as they are searching for in a murder, is farcical at best. In the time frame of the search Scribner was teaching college classes on crime scene processing and evidence documentation.
Scribner’s other statement about them matching all the firearms to specific gun cases is also not true. All guns, except for one, were at Chris Wright’s office that day. All of the gun cases were empty. Though it sounds more incriminating to say what Scribner said. The only issue is that it is not true.
Scribner went on to testify on the same day in the preliminary hearing:
Q: Okay, at some point was there a search done of the gun case at a different date?
Scribner: Yes, there was.
Q: And who – – do you know who performed that gun – – the search of the gun case?
Scribner: I’m not sure about who actually took the evidence out. But I went to take pictures of something that was found in the box and it was Officer – – I’m sorry. Detective Carriger who requested I take photographs.
Q: Okay, what was it that was found in the box?
Scribner: There was a test casing underneath the packaging or the egg crate of the gun box and it was in a white envelope. So I took pictures of the envelope and casing as we removed it.
Then under defense cross examination:
Q: Okay. You said there was a search of the gun later by – – directed by Detective Carriger, how much later? When was that?
Scribner: I’m not sure.
Q: Okay, you don’t know how long ago it was that you were taking photographs of the case that had been reopened. Did you reopen it?
Q: Had it already been cut, the tag that you had put on there had already been cut by somebody?
Scribner: Someone had already taken it out of evidence and opened it up and found the test shell casing.
Q: So, you weren’t there when that happened?
So when Sandy City needed a reason that the shell casing hadn’t been found in the initial search it was because it was tucked under the egg crating where it wouldn’t be seen.
Things changed just before trial. The rules of evidence say – unsurprisingly – that detectives shouldn’t go into evidence rooms, months after a search, by themselves, to find things that were not documented in any way when they were first alleged to have been taken.
Defense council filed a motion to suppress the shell casing that Carriger allegedly found. A motion that would have gone through except that suddenly an officer claimed he remembered seeing the envelope with the shell casing in it just sitting on top of some papers in the gun case.
There are police reports from every officer involved in the search of Chris Wright’s house documenting their activities except for the officer who says he saw the shell. There are pictures of the inside of every empty gun case in Chris Wright’s house except the one they claim was the murder weapon. There are pictures of the inside of every box of ammunition with a count of every bullet and it’s type. Still there is not one single thing from this search on this magical moving shell casing or the inside of the one gun case that mattered to the investigation.
Then, ten days before the start of trial, more than two years after the search of Chris Wright’s condo, Josh Player produces this recording as the sole piece of evidence of the shell casings existence at the time of the search:
Then at trial they seem to sense that this very suspect find by Carriger while he is alone is in need of some support. Scribner decides to testify that she was there for the whole process of removing the zip tie she placed on the case the day of the search and the alleged finding of the shell casing. This would make the alleged find more credible. It’s just that once again what Scribner says isn’t true.
On April 20th, 2010 Scribner testifies as follows at Chris Wright’s trial:
Q: So Detective Carriger had some involvement with this gun case before you saw it that day, right?
Scribner: He took it out evidence.
Q: There is no zip tie in the picture is there.
Scribner: It has been cut off.
Q: It has been cut off, right?
Q: So the zip tie has already been cut off before this picture was taken?
Scribner: Right, I was there for that.
Q: And where was that done?
Scribner: At his cubicle.
Later Scribner states on the same day:
Scribner: This is the shell casing that was removed from the gun box during those photographs we just talked about.
On the next page Scribner states:
Q: Let me back up a little bit. When the case was opened what was the – – do you recall how the shell casing was stored?
Scribner: When we originally opened the gun box?
Scribner: The shell casing was in that small envelope folded up inside the gun box.
Q: An that envelope that it is in today, is that the same envelope?
Q: Can you tell us about that?
Scribner: When we took the test casing out of the gun box it was removed from the envelope, photographed and then placed as a separate piece of evidence.
Q: Were you there during this entire processing of viewing the casing and repackaging the casing for security?
Sribner: I can’t say for sure if I watched him package that or not. I was there when he opened the gun case, we took photographs of it, he removed the casing. I took pictures of the casing. I can’t remember if I saw him package that.
There is a break, in which Scribner speaks with Carriger and Josh Player. Scribner then comes back to the stand to be questioned by the defense. When it becomes clear that Scribner is going to be confronted with her preliminary hearing testimony she suddenly doesn’t even remember testifying. Scribner testified as follows:
Q: So you were subpoenaed to that prelim regarding Christopher Wright?
Scribner: Yes. I’m just saying I don’t remember the testimony that day. I don’t remember the date. I don’t remember the testimony. That’s all.
Q: You remember testifying?
Scribner: I don’t.
This is the group of people we are supposed to believe years later that suddenly one of them “remembers” seeing an envelope sitting on top of papers and it had something in it. Later Scribner is questioned further:
Q: That’s a transcript of the preliminary hearing, and that’s your name, right?
Q: Does that refresh your memory about your testimony, or of testifying?
Q: So you were there?
Q: And you were sworn in, you gave the oath to tell the truth?
Q: And if you could look at page 41, please, and if you could look on line 16. If you could read line 16 through 25.
Scribner: 16 through 25?
The Judge: You can read it to yourself.
Q: Did you read that?
Q: Do you recall testifying on that date that by the time that you had viewed the gun box that the tag had already been cut?
Scribner: Yes, that’s what it reads.
Q: And that somebody had already taken it out of the evidence and opened it and found the test shell casing?
Q: “Question: so you weren’t there when that happened?” The answer is “no”, right?
Q: Then you started beginning to take photographs after that?
Q: You don’t have any photographs or any documentation of the contents or what the gun case looked at as soon as it was opened, from when you booked it into evidence?
So just to recap… first the shell is tucked under egg crating where it can’t be seen when they need an explanation for why it wasn’t found in the first search of the gun case. Then it’s sitting right on top and there never was a search when they need someone to have seen it years later to provide a chain-of-custody.
It is the most important empty gun case found but it is the only one that there are no photographs of the inside of from the day of the search of Chris Wright’s condo.
Arnold’s testimony is the most important testimony from the search but he is the only officer who doesn’t have a report from the day of the search.
Scribner goes from not even being sure who searched the box or got it out of evidence to having been there every step of the way.
Finally the shell casing is allegedly found the day after a DNA report comes out that should have set Chris Wright free.
I know that in the movies it is always a clever defense attorney who gets the evidence suppressed and some monster goes free. That is not what happened here. I feel like this is the kind of evidence most Americans think should be suppressed, it was not, and an innocent man went to prison and still sits there.
Oh ya and that sergeant who “just happened” to call Carriger to see if Carriger looked for a shell casing is Vaun Delahunty and you will be hearing more about him later.
NBC DATELINE - Part 5
Chris’ loft friends now believe his is innocent. They start to suspect that one of their own, a neighbor who moved away soon after Chris’ arrest, could have set him up to take the fall for murder.
Dateline’s Keith Morrison reports.
Morrison: It’s standard procedure for prisons to record inmate’s phone calls. This is Ken talking to his wife, Dee, the night before the murder.
In the parts of the phone call that Dateline played in 2012, the part that was known to be relevant at the time was covered. Ken was killed at a meeting at 7am the morning after the call. In the recorded call – as you heard – Ken and Dee were discussing Ken’s plans for his meeting at 7am the following morning. Dee later tells police that she knew nothing about Ken’s plans for the morning he was killed.
Those of you who read the footnote “Family Rift” and listened to the recording of Dee’s son Robert Steed know that Ken was working on an investigation designed to bring criminal charges against those exact three people. Let’s listen to all of what we now know is relevant:
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Disk51a Leslie Mower Prison Calls 1 of 6.mp3 (min 7.00 – 8.38)
The recording starts with some family business that is only included because it is in the transition that it becomes clear the information Ken plans to get is bad for Tom.
The person that Ken is referring to as “my friend”, according to Dee has been talking to Tommy and Darick. Chris Wright has never met or spoken to Tom, Tommy or Darick in his life and could not have had information on any of them.
Another interesting comment by Dee is made in reference to the person the meeting is planned with when she says: “He knows now, nothing will leak out. Nothing is being said.”
In my opinion this sounds like a contact that is being developed for an investigation. Building trust to gain more information. Obviously somebody close to the targets of the investigation since “he” has been talking to Tommy and Darick.
The call you just heard is the evening of the 14th. Ken is killed on the morning of the 15th at the meeting Ken and Dee discussed. It is the evening of the 16th that Dee tells Sandy Police that she doesn’t have any idea who Ken could have been meeting. Dee had another call though. On the 15th Dee spoke with her sister Chree. Here is the important part of that call.
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Disk 51a Leslie Mower Prison Calls 2 of 6.mp3 (min 2:12 – 3:11)
So in this call, which happens before Dee’s meeting with the police, her sister Chree tells Dee that the meeting was with a Robert and that Chree assumed the meeting was for Dee because Ken was so excited. Dee does not deny that. Dee goes on to tell Chree that she called Ken after Chree left the house. In my humble opinion it is getting harder to believe that Dee forgot about her call with Ken. Let’s listen to what Dee told the police.
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Disk 8 Leslie Mower 2 of 3.mp3 (min 8:20-11:11)
Other than the denial of any knowledge of Ken’s meetings, Dee says a few things of interest. Bart Bailey was talking with her about Ken that day. Bart Baily is Dee’s attorney and had been out to meet with her prior to the police interview. More importantly Dee goes out of her way to say that Ladonna is the “only” source of the name Robert and the meeting. That’s an interesting thing to say indeed. Dee just had a conversation with Chree about Ken and what Ken told Chree about Robert and the meeting. Let’s listen to another important part of Dee’s call with Chree on the 15th:
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Disk 51a Leslie Mower Prison calls 2 of 6.mp3 (min 8:30 – 9:20)
After Chree goes down to meet with Dee, Chree tells the police that she was with Ken the night before he was killed and that Ken didn’t say anything about a meeting or anything out of the ordinary.
I would like to point out that I am not of the opinion at this time that Dee Mower ordered Ken killed or even that she knew that Ken was going to be killed. I am however of the opinion that Dee withheld information in a way that led to my arrest and wrongful conviction and that others withheld information at her request. Even if all I looked at were these calls and the police interview I wouldn’t know what other conclusion to come to.
What was not played of the call was Dee and Ken discussing the purpose of the meeting. Ken’s meeting was planned in order to get information on Tom Mower Sr – Dee’s ex-husband – and Tommy and Darick – two of Dee’s sons.
NBC DATELINE - Part 6
Chris Wright pleads his case directly to Dateline. What will the jury decide? And can Dateline find the loft neighbor who the defense claims framed Chris?
Dateline’s Keith Morrison reports.
Editing of Recording Section Six Page 18
Morrison: And out in suburban Sandy Utah, the case still resonates around the shiny new court house where ADA Josh Player Struggled with his emotions a bit as he told us he is sure he did not send an innocent man to prison but rather achieved justice for everyone.
In my opinion it becomes rather hard to believe that Josh’s tears are genuine when you know there is evidence of Josh or somebody very close to Josh altering evidence before providing it to the defense.
You see, Lee Carlson – the State’s eyewitness – didn’t just say that he heard the shooter speaking with an Eastern European accent. Lee said that he told both Josh Player and Vaun Delahunty – the D.A.’s investigator – about the shooter having an Eastern European or Slavic accent before the preliminary hearing. Something that, if true, clearly should have been disclosed to the defense.
None of this came out until around two weeks before trial. Ed Brass, the defense council, had been arguing to be able to interview the witness before trial.
When the judge finally agreed to permit the interview, Josh Player sent a notice to the defense. Josh said that Lee Carlson claimed to have told both Josh Player and Vaun Delahunty before the preliminary hearing about the shooter having had an Eastern European accent and about Lee having photoshopped wigs onto Chris Wright’s photo until Lee was comfortable it looked like what Lee saw the day of the murder.
Josh Player and Vaun Delahunty both stated that it was not true and that Lee didn’t tell them any of that before the preliminary hearing, or at any other time until just before they disclosed it to the defense – two weeks before the trial began.
Editing of Recording
Here are the notes from the defense interview of Lee Carlson, and the States overview of what they claimed were new statements by Lee Carlson:
Defense Interview April 12th 2010 – State’s overview starts “Foreign Language”
Fortunately, clear back in 2008, the defense had been provided with a copy of Lee Carlson’s interview that was done before the preliminary hearing. The interview was conducted by Josh Player and Vaun Delahunty. If Lee told them about the accent and the photo shopping before the preliminary hearing, as Lee claimed to have done, it will be in that interview. That’s what we would assume, isn’t it?
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Lee Carlson 3/24/08
There are some interesting things about this recording though. There are call out times to mark the beginning and the end of the recording. The recording begins at 1.20pm and ends at 1.50pm. That means the recording should be 30 minutes long. This recording is only 25 minutes long. Once all of this was put together it started to make sense to have the recording analyzed. See the results of that analysis below:
Another thing to pay attention to is that in the recording from 2008, very near the proven edit, Vaun Delahunty says: “English, Ken speaking English?”. It is in the form of a question. Why would Vaun ask that question unless Lee Carlson had just told Vaun and Josh exactly what Lee claims to have told them. This is the time Lee Claims to have told them about the shooter sounding Eastern European/Slavic. Below is what, in my opinion, sounds like Josh and Vaun trying to cover their butt. This is about two weeks before the trial and not one recording or report has been provided to indicate any contact with Lee between 2008 and this:
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Lee Carlson 4/1/10
The interesting thing about this recording is that most of it is Josh or Vaun telling Lee what they remember Lee saying in previous interviews. Forget for one second how manipulative that is. It clearly means that both Josh and Vaun have discussed the shooter having an Eastern European/Slavic accent before this recording was made.
To the best of Chris Wright’s knowledge those conversations were either not preserved or not provided to the defense. Chris Wright’s current attorneys don’t have them. Or could it be that, at least in part, Josh and Vaun are referring to the missing parts of Lee’s interview from March of 2008? At a minimum Josh and Vaun knew that they were in the process of contradicting their own witness on matters they had a duty to disclose. Josh and Vaun must have known that any contact with Lee should have been preserved.
Let’s assume for a minute that all of the evidence and statements by Lee Carlson about what Lee said and when Lee said it are correct. A more than rational assumption in my opinion. Josh and Vaun may not have known that the shooter having an Eastern European/Slavic accent was central to the case. After all they may not have known about David Novak’s bragging about his connections to the Russian Mafia. They could have just viewed it as the editing out of a part where their witness was confused. A simple shortcut on the way to what Josh believed was, as he put it, “justice for everyone”.
Except that Josh Player did know that the accent was central to the case. In fact Josh must have known that Dee and the other people close to Ken assumed that Ken was killed by somebody from Russia or Eastern Europe.
Less than two months after the 2008 interview with Lee that seems to have had this crucial evidence removed. Bart Bailey – Dee Mower’s attorney – said this with Dee sitting right next to him.
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Disk #11 5/20/08 (Min 23:56 – 29:40/cutoff)
Chris Wright knew nothing about this recording until after his conviction. I guess Josh might not have known how central the accent was at the time of Lee’s interview two months earlier. Except that more than two months before Lee’s interview a man named Jason Golly, who had worked with Tom Mower, said this:
AUDIO EVIDENCE – Disk #21 Track #2 min 6:40 – 9:50 Jason Golly 12/12/07
Another recording Chris Wright knew nothing about until after his conviction. Mr. Golly states that Tom has bragged about his ability to kill through his Russian mafia connections. Mr. Golly also states that he would not put it past Tom, Tommy or Darrick to kill Ken just to hurt Dee Mower. With that being the case: What would such people do in response to an investigation like the one being conducted by Ken, Dee and Bart? An investigation into crimes allegedly committed by Tom, Tommy and Darrick in Eastern Europe or Russia and intended to make sure that all three go to prison for a long time. According to the family Ken was a central figure to the operation of that investigation.
This is not even close to all of the evidence that Ken’s shooter was from Eastern Europe or Russia.
What you have seen here is by no means the only evidence of the altering or withholding of evidence in the case. Much is being held back to go into a bar complaint against Josh Player.
When the Dateline first aired I read the online commentary. Many people thought that Lee Carlson was somehow in on the murder. Some said worse things than that. I hope that people will now view things as I do. I feel that Lee Carlson was just another victim manipulated by Josh Player.
The jury did not hear any of the evidence about why Lee hearing an Eastern European was so important. Not one word about all of these people’s connections to the Russian Mafia. Not one word about the investigation which was centered in Eastern Europe and Russia that people close to Ken assumed got him killed. The jury was left with Josh Player’s story about the accent being the result of a confused Lee who heard Chris Wright clearing his throat and thought it was Russian.
Chris Wright was wrongfully convicted for murder in 2010 and has been incarcerated ever since.
But there is powerful evidence of his innocence, and we won't stop fighting until the world is aware of it and Chris has been set free.
Every little bit helps in our mission to set Chris free.