A few new developments in an old story: I was an intern when Glenna Whitley and I wrote about the brutal murder of a Mansfield couple named Rick and Suzanna Wamsley in 2003. Their son, Andrew Wamsley, and his girlfriend, Chelsea Richardson, have been sentenced, respectively, to life in prison and death for their roles in the Wamsleys' murder. A third accomplice, Susana Toledano, plead guilty to murder and became a witness for the state, testifying against Andrew and Chelsea.
Rick Wamsley was shot in the head and stabbed 21 times. Suzanna Wamsley was shot and then stabbed 18 times. At the time of the murder, Andrew Wamsley and Toledano were both 19, and Richardson was 20 years old. Officials say the trio hoped to collect the Wamsley's $1.65 million estate.
Chelsea Richardson was the first woman ever to be sentenced to death in Tarrant County. Now 23, she's the subject of an upcoming We channel documentary on women on Death Row and has launched her own Web site, Chelsea's Story. Check out the artwork. And the poetry. A sample: "The only outlet to her pain flows in that cheap ink & map pencils / Trying to pour her heart out & express with the rapid flicks of her hand & strokes with a stiff wrist / This ones pain is from blame misplaced on her."
Richardson's appellate attorney, Bob Ford, has unleashed an all-out assault on the Tarrant County District Attorney, Richardson's trial judge and her former defense attorneys. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the details: Judge Everett Young, who's recused himself from the case, is accused of favoring the prosecution, defense attorneys Warren St. John and Terry Barlow are called "ineffective" for not getting Richardson a mental health evaluation, and Ford has requested that the district attorney's office remove itself entirely from Richardson's appeals case. As of Friday, the district attorney's hadn't backed down.