Memphis man pleads guilty in double murder

Deandre Wright (Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department)
Deandre Wright (Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - An accused Mid-South murderer made a last-minute deal just days before his trial was set to begin.

28-year-old Deandre Wright pleaded guilty as indicted to two counts of first degree murder.

He allegedly shot and killed two victims, then set their bodies on fire inside a pickup truck parked on a dead end street in a Frayser neighborhood, Shelby County D.A. Bill Gibbons said Friday.

A judge sentenced Wright on both counts to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

According to police, around noon on July 28, 2006, Memphis firefighters received a call about a pickup truck on fire on Sharon Lane.

After extinguishing the flames, firefighters discovered two bodies inside the vehicle, identified as Phylicia Kelly, 15, and Joshua Giles, 21.

The medical examiner ruled that both victims died from gunshot wounds.

Investigators say Wright was angry because he believed one of the victims had stolen a necklace from him.

They said Wright lured his victims to a house on Lee Cove on the morning of the murders. Giles and Kelly drove to the home in a pickup truck. Giles entered the home and Wright shot him.

Kelly was then taken inside the house, where Wright physically assaulted her and threatened her with death.

Wright then took Giles' body, stuffed into two garbage bags, and placed it in the bed of the truck. Kelly was ordered to sit behind the driver's seat. The truck was driven to Sharon Lane, where Wright shot Kelly in the back of the head, then doused the truck with gasoline and set it on fire.

"My daughter meant the world to me, man," the victim's father, Alonzo Odom said in 2006. "15 years old...she won't get to experience life again."

A state grand jury indicted Wright for the murders in August 2006.

Two co-defendants, Anthony McDonald and Terrance Boyd, await trial on the same charges.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.