Family lawyer excited about Justice Dept. investigating Wright case

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The saying the truth will set you free rings true for the family of Alfred Wright today.

"We're very excited that she has announced the Justice Department is going to investigate the death of Alfred Wright," said Cade Bernsen, the attorney for the Wright family. "It's important to have some people who aren't from this area to take a look at it because there's just too many questions that remain unanswered."

On Jan. 23, the Wright family attorney said they had met with Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to address concerns they had with the way the investigation was being handled by local law enforcement.

"His truck still has not been searched," Bernsen said. "People who found the body still have not been interviewed. The last people to talk to  him still have not given formal statements."

That's when Lee wrote a petition to US Attorney Eric Holder, citing her interest in getting the federal government's help in investigating the mysterious disappearance and death of the Jasper man.

Saying the fact that his unclothed body had a slit throat, missing ear, and two missing teeth was "inconsistent" with the autopsy report revealing his death as "accidental."

"What is so troubling to us: before the body was even found Sabine County sheriff was saying 'Oh I think this is a drug overdose,'" Bernsen said. "And the problem with that is they had nothing to base that on."

In a press release, Lee states "I am confident that the Department of Justice will conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all the circumstances surrounding this tragedy ... and to take appropriate action necessary to vindicate the federal interest, protect the civil rights of all Americans, ensure that all persons receive equal justice under law."

And Bernsen says the family can't wait to see what happens.

"She took the time out of her schedule -- very busy schedule -- to meet with the Wright family and to hear their concerns and to hear about the problems in this investigation," Bernsen said.

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