Cari Ann Wright’s case is a tragic one. She is accused of causing her 16-year-old daughter’s death through neglect and abuse. Hannah Warner, Wright’s teenage daughter, died as a result of malnutrition and complications resulting from neglect, which Wright recently admitted to in court.
Unlike many teens her age, Hannah was confined to a bed as a result of “chromosome translocation.” The disease caused her to suffer both physical and mental disabilities and kept her bedridden for the majority of her life. She had a feeding tube, and a tracheotomy, and required assistance with all of her daily activities and care.
Hannah’s death came to light when police were called to the family’s home on November 17, 2015. Their purpose was to conduct a suspicious death investigation. Hannah was found in a closed bedroom, the door covered by a blanket on which a piece of paper was pinned, with the word “sleeping” written on it.
Hannah’s body was found, lying in a soiled bed. Her tracheotomy had been non-surgically removed, and her feeding tube had not been recently changed. According to the medical examiner, it may not have been in working order at the time of her death. In addition, she had large open sores on her back and buttocks.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Hannah died of malnutrition and neglect. She was 43 pounds at the time of her death. Although she was found on November 17th 2015, the medical examiner said that she had most likely already been dead for a full day by the time she was discovered. Her last recorded visit to a doctor had been about 18 months prior to her death.
Wright was charged with single counts of Torture, First Degree Child Abuse and Open Murder, however the torture charge was later dismissed. Wright later accepted a plea bargain. As part of the plea agreement, she pled guilty to a single count of Second Degree Murder While Mentally Ill. In return, prosecutors agreed to drop the murder and child abuse charges.
At her most recent court hearing, Wright admitted to the Judge that she had not fed Hannah for “a couple of weeks” prior to her death. She also admitted that she did not seek help for herself or for Hannah, even though she knew that
Although Wright’s attorney initially intended to use the insanity defense at trial, it was later determined that this was not applicable. Wright did undergo a criminal responsibility evaluation at Michigan’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ann Arbor and was determined to be suffering from mental illness at the time of the crime. However, she did not meet the standard for legal insanity.
By allowing Wright to plead to a charge of Second Degree Murder While Mentally Ill, the prosecutor’s office has ensured that Wright will receive psychiatric services while in prison. This, says Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon, reflects “the best outcome we could get for everyone” in a case that ended tragically. If Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk sticks to the details of the plea agreement, Wright will be sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.