New federal charges offer new hope for Wright family - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

New federal charges offer new hope for Wright family

Dale Mardis (File photo) Dale Mardis (File photo)

A man who some say received merely a slap on the wrist for killing a code enforcement inspector is now facing federal charges.

Outrage is an understatement in describing the way Mickey Wright's family reacted to last year's plea deal.

Dale Mardis, the man who admitted to killing their husband and father, received a sentence of just a dozen years for the crime.

Now, new federal charges are offering hope for the Wright family.

"I'm very happy and my family's very happy the federal government is going forward with it," widow Frances Wright said in an interview Monday.

The charges were officially unsealed during a news conference Monday afternoon.
"The two-count indictment charges defendant Dale Mardis with a felony federal civil rights violation and a felony federal firearms violation," U.S. attorney David Kustoff said.

The feds said Mardis killed Wright because of his race, and denied him his constitutional right to work as a government official.

Congressman Steve Cohen helped initiate the federal investigation.
"We met with Mrs. Wright and the Wright family immediately after that plea bargain was arrived at," Cohen said.

He is now sponsoring legislation in Washington called the Mickey Wright Bill.

"To make it against the law to take a corpse across the state lines to evade justice," Cohen said.

That is just one of things Dale Mardis admitted to, but never fully answered for according to his victim's family.

Dale Mardis is currently serving time at the state prison in Tiptonville.

He made an initial appearance Monday on the new charges.

He was assigned a court-appointed attorney and will be back in court later this week.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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