Cape woman sentenced for her role in robberies

Wednesday, May 1, 2002

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- A Cape Girardeau woman was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for her role in a succession of robberies last year that left good Samaritans wary of giving directions to strangers.

Delores Wright, 43, of 514 Olive St. pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree robbery.

Each robbery took place in May, 2001.

In each incident, Wright approached the victims and asked for directions. Minutes later, a masked accomplice brandishing a gun robbed them.

Victims of each robbery were able to pick Wright out of photographic lineups. In addition, police used phone records from a victim's stolen cell phone to track down the robbers.

Accomplice caught

In addition, Wright's accomplice, Eric Thomas, 33, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Thomas implicated Wright in a videotaped confession.

Phone calls made on the phone were traced to a 21-year-old man who admitted he traded two rocks of crack cocaine to Wright in exchange for the cell phone.

"It was scary in Cape Girardeau when we were having this string of robberies," said Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.

"It is nice to have her off the streets."

Circuit Judge Robert Cope sentenced Wright to 10 years in prison for each of the robberies and ordered that the sentences run concurrently. As a prior and persistent offender, she will serve at least 85 percent of her sentence, Swingle said.

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