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Grand jury indicts Wright on first-degree murder

A Hubbard County grand jury has indicted a pipeline worker on charges of first-degree murder stemming from a domestic case last winter in Park Rapids.

Hubbard County Attorney Donovan Dearstyne announced the indictments Friday. He declined further comment on the case.

Richard Derek Wright, 41, is charged in the strangulation death of Sonya Marie Hennagir, 40. Police arrived at her Discovery Circle home to find her deceased in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2008.

She had called a friend to visit her before dying.

Wright was arraigned Thursday night before Judge John P. Smith, who contnued Wright's $1.2 million bail.

Wright is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second degree murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of witness tampering and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Some of the charges arose from Wright's alleged attack on Hennagir's friend, Jenny Larson, who arrived at the home and was allegedly confronted by Wright.

The complaint states that when authorities arrived on the scene, Wright was attempting to strangle Larson.

Larson was injured in the attack and was unable to work for awhile.

Hennagir's two children were in the home at the time of the murder.

Wright, a pipeline worker employed by a Pennsylvania company, was an acquaintance of the victim's. He has been incarcerated since his arrest at the scene.

An evidentiary hearing set for August was canceled for reasons the court and attorneys for both sides refused to specify.

The prosecution and defense are wrangling over evidentiary issues, a possible change of venue and witness statements.

Minnesota law requires a grand jury indictment for first-degree murder charges to be filed. First-degree murder is punishable by life imprisonment.

Wright's next court appearance is set for Oct. 8. That was the continuation date set for his omnibus hearing.