Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Charles Wright, Tennessee

Charles Wright, Tennessee

October 10, 2019

Charles Walton Wright was scheduled to be executed at 7:10 pm CST, on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at the Riverbed Maximum Security Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. Charles died prior to his execution. Sixty-four-year-old Charles was convicted of the murder of Gerald Mitchell and Douglas Alexander on July 18, 1984, in Davidson County, Tennessee. Charles spent the last 30 years on Tennessee’s death row.

Charles grew up in a poor family. They frequently moved around when he was young. Charles had nine siblings. Charles earned his GED (general equivalency diploma) while in prison. Prior to the murder, police suspected Charles of selling marijuana and had a warrant, which was never served, to search his home.

On July 18, 1984, Charles Wright, Gerald Mitchell and Douglas Alexander all met at a park in Nashville, Tennessee, around 6 pm. They intended to buy drugs and then sell them. Several people in the park heard three shots that evening. Douglas and Gerald were found shot to death. Douglas had two gunshot wounds, one defensive and one lethal. Gerald had one lethal gunshot wound. Douglas found at the top of a small hill, while Gerald was found 50 feet away, at the bottom of the hill, near a flight of steps.

A witness observed that shortly after the shots a vehicle, later identified as belonging to Douglas, was driven away from a nearby parking lot. There was only one person in the vehicle. The vehicle was later found abandoned.

Police questioned Wright, who initially denied any involvement in the deaths. Wright also gave misleading and false information to the police, including information on his whereabouts at the time of the shooting. Wright eventually admitted to knowing Douglas and Gerald and helping them buy drugs to sell in another town. The three of them went to the park that evening while waiting for the remainder of the drugs.

According to Wright, he stayed in the vehicle while Douglas and Gerald went to the top of a small hill. When Wright heard a shot, he ran to where the two men had been and discovered that Gerald had shot Douglas. Wright alleges that he took the weapon from Gerald and then shot Gerald.

Police later identified the gun as belonging to Jessie King, an acquaintance of Wright. Wright eventually admitted to borrowing the weapon from Jessie and then returning it. Wright contends, however, that he had let Gerald borrow the weapon.

A jury found Wright guilty of the murder of Douglas and Gerald. Wright was given a life sentence for Gerald’s murder. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Douglas.

Charles was scheduled to be executed on June 23, 2015, however that execution was stayed while the Tennessee Supreme Court heard a case on the use of electrocution for executions. In late 2018, Charles, along with several other Tennessee death row inmates, was given a new executions date, however, Charles, who was fighting cancer, died on May 17, 2019, months before his 2019 execution date.

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Douglas Alexander and Gerald Mitchell. Please pray for the family of Charles Wright.

For more information regarding how your financial support can help, please click here.