UPDATED: Plea deal for Wright | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UPDATED: Plea deal for Wright

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Arkansas News Bureau is reporting that former Clinton aide Betsey Wright, who is accused of smuggling contraband material into a prison, will accept a plea deal from prosecutors this afternoon. We'll have more as the story develops. Max wrote extensively on this when news of the charges against Wright broke in August.


Betsy Wright today changed her not guilty plea to charges of smuggling contraband into a state prison to no contest to two misdemeanor charges of possession of an instrument of crime. She was sentenced in 11th Circuit Judge Jodi Dennis' court to 12 months probation on each charge, to run concurrently, fined $2,000 and was prohibited from visiting the state Department of Correction or an inmate of the ADC without the department's approval.

Wright's statement, issued to the Times, is on the jump.


April 7, 2010
Statement by Betsey Wright

On May 22, 2009, I arrived at the entrance to the Varner Unit where I had an
appointment to visit an inmate.  In the clear plastic bag of items I
submitted for inspection was my key chain.  I had forgotten to remove my
small pocket knife  and craft knife from the key chain.

I had previously made between 150 and 200 visits there, and this same
oversight had occurred on a few other occasions.  Sometimes when I arrived
at the prison, all I focused on was quickly getting to the ladies room just
inside the entrance door. This resulted in occasionally collecting things too quickly and without enough attention.  In most of the instances when I had overlooked the items on my keychain, the security officer also overlooked them, and the items entered and left the prison on my key chain.  On the occasions where the security officer noticed the items, I was either allowed to return them to my car, or the officer kept the key chain for my retrieval on leaving the prison.

Ironically, several times I suggested to wardens and assistant wardens at
Varner, and to the director of ADC, that the key chain procedure we followed
when visiting the Maximum Security Unit at Tucker be implemented at
Varner.  At "Tucker Max," the key chains of all visitors were deposited
with the security officer upon arrival and retrieved upon leaving the
prison.  Therefore, it made little difference what was on the key chains.

I am gratified that the prosecuting attorney has agreed to drop all charges
involving the tattoo needles.  I have said all along, and reiterate here,
that I did not realize that the needles were in a bag of chips I got from
the basin of the vending machine.  I thought I had a free bag of chips.
Instead, I inadvertently intercepted a smuggling operation by some other, unknown, person. I would also mention that I do not approve of tattooing.

On May 22, 2009, the pocket knife and craft knife were taken into the prison
entrance building  because of my carelessness.   I have decided to plead no
contest to these reduced misdemeanor charges because, although I know that I
had no criminal intent, I realize that a jury might decide the matter differently.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Gerard Matthews

Readers also liked…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016
  • Satanic Temple: Make Rapert pay for Ten Commandments monument

    A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
    • Aug 28, 2016

Most Shared

  • Pot and politics

    The politics of medical marijuana in Arkansas will be an interesting story as it evolves.
  • The Oval outhouse

    One thing all Americans finally can agree upon is that public discourse has coarsened irretrievably in the era of Donald Trump and largely at his instance.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Paywall progress

    • Don't know why you doubt that I had staff at one time, silverback66. State employees…

    • on January 21, 2018
  • Re: The Women's March open line

    • "This one simple error of fact indicates to me the book [by Michael Wolff] was…

    • on January 21, 2018
  • Re: The Medicaid charade explained

    • Apply for a low interest Business/Personal loans to pay your bills or start your own…

    • on January 21, 2018

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation