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US man convicted in 1976 death of waitress

 Defendant Johnny Wright, left, listens  as proceedings open in his trial for second- degree murder in the 1976 disappearance of Columbia waitress Bec...
 Paul Waldt, an acquaintance of Becky Doisy, testifies to his relationship with Doisy during the  trial of Johnny Wright  on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 a...
 Defense attorney Cleveland Tyson sits at the defense table during retired Columbia Det. Chris Egbert's testimony in the trial of Johnny Wright  on Th...
 Kathy Doisy, the younger sister of Columbia waitress Becky Doisy, testifies during the  trial of Johnny Wright  on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 at the Boo...
 Johnny Wright, right, listens as his attorney, Cleveland Tyson, not pictured, cross-examines retired Columbia Det. Chris Egbert during his testimony ...

1976 Slaying

Defendant Johnny Wright, left, listens as proceedings open in his trial for second- degree murder in the 1976 disappearance of Columbia waitress Bec...

1976 Slaying

Paul Waldt, an acquaintance of Becky Doisy, testifies to his relationship with Doisy during the trial of Johnny Wright on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 a...

1976 Slaying

Defense attorney Cleveland Tyson sits at the defense table during retired Columbia Det. Chris Egbert's testimony in the trial of Johnny Wright on Th...

1976 Slaying

Kathy Doisy, the younger sister of Columbia waitress Becky Doisy, testifies during the trial of Johnny Wright on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 at the Boo...

1976 Slaying

Johnny Wright, right, listens as his attorney, Cleveland Tyson, not pictured, cross-examines retired Columbia Det. Chris Egbert during his testimony ...

A 66-year-old man was convicted Friday of killing a waitress nearly 35 years ago before going into hiding for the next three decades.
Jurors deliberated for about six hours before deciding that suburban Atlanta resident Johnny Wright was guilty of second-degree murder in the August 1976 disappearance and death of 23-year-old Rebecca Doisy. The former University of Missouri student's body was never found.
Her sister, Kathy Doisy, broke down in tears when the verdict was announced. Wright, who faces between 10 and 30 years in prison when sentenced in March, showed no emotion.
"This is a weight off my shoulders," Kathy Doisy said after the hearing. "I now know for a fact what happened to my sister."
Defense lawyer Cleveland Tyson said he would appeal the verdict.
Wright was charged with murder in 1985, after an acquaintance said Wright admitted killing Rebecca Doisy. He wasn't arrested until 2009, after he sought a criminal background check for a job application at a police department in Georgia.
Police said Wright lived under the assumed identity of Errol Edwards for years in Seattle, Texas and most recently Georgia, where he raised a family. But he used his real name when seeking the background check, prosecutors said.
Jurors had to decide whether the circumstantial evidence linking Wright to Doisy overcame the lack of physical evidence, including proof that she died. Wright did not testify at his trial, and his defense attorney called just three witnesses.
"We knew it was going to be an incredible uphill challenge, not having a body," said Assistant Boone County Prosecutor Richard Hicks, the lead prosecutor on the case. "I doubt I will ever be involved in any case like this again."


Updated : 2021-05-17 22:36 GMT+08:00