Clovis man charged with murdering wife of more than 50 years

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Kenneth Wright used a hearing device to help him during court proceedings Tuesday.

Fresno County Sheriff's deputies said when they pulled up at this home on Del Rey near Herndon last week, Kenneth Wright flagged them down.

He was fully cooperative, but detectives say not initially truthful.

"He stayed there the whole time, didn't resist talking with our detectives at all, obviously the story we were first told is that he thought she shot and killed herself," said Fresno County Sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti. "But through some good interviewing by our detectives just spending some time with him, the truth finally came out. He said that he in fact shot and killed her."

Right now, homicide detectives don't know why Maradee Wright was killed. The couple didn't have any apparent troubles or calls to their home for domestic problems.

Although detectives have not confirmed it, some relatives have reported Kenneth was suffering from dementia.

But his changing stories could hurt his defense according to ABC30 legal analyst, Tony Capozzi.

"The problem with this case is when the police came, he made up a story. Well as police questioned him and found out that wasn't the case- that may be a factor in determining whether or not he was insane at the time," he said.

Kenneth told detectives he went somewhere and came back home to find his wife dead.

But he called another person and asked them to call 9-1-1 for him.

Deputies say their priority has been figuring out how Maradee died and who pulled the trigger.

The suspect's mental state will be left to handle by attorneys and other experts.

"We've done our job saying that he's responsible for killing her, whether or not the district attorney wants to adjust the charges based on medical evidence it's going to be up to them," Botti said.

Kenneth Wright does not have a prior criminal history. His bail is more than $1 million.
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