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UPDATE: Suspects Indicted in Floyd County Murder

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 5/17/13
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A Floyd County man and his wife have been indicted in connection with the murder of 54-year-old Famer Halbert in March.

The shooting happened at Halbert’s home in McDowell.

The Floyd County Grand Jury charged Ronald Wright, 64, of Printer, Ky., with murder, attempted murder and seven counts of wanton endangerment.

Wright's wife, Loretta, is charged with complicity to murder, attempted murder and seven count of complicity to wanton endangerment.

Halbert’s wife, Lorene, and Ronald Wright were both shot during the incident.

During Ronald Wright’s preliminary hearing, a Kentucky State Police detective took the stand and gave his account of what happened that night.

Detective Jason Dials says the Wright’s were visiting Lorene and Famer Halbert to talk about the death of the Wrights' son. Dials said it was not long before things went terribly wrong.

"At one point, as they were getting ready to leave, Ronald had asked if he could us the restroom. He went back towards the bathroom. Shortly thereafter they heard a gunshot," said Dials.

The detective said Ronald Wright shot Famer Halbert while he was sleeping in his bed in the back bedroom.

Dials said when Ronald Wright came back there was a struggle for the gun, and both Ronald Wright and Lorene Halbert ended up wounded. Then Dials said the Wrights then fled the house.

Lorene Halbert and Loretta Wright are sisters

The Wright’s will be arraigned on the charges Tuesday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/27/13
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A Floyd County man charged with murder had his preliminary hearing continued on Tuesday.

Ronald Wright, 64, of Printer, Ky. is charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with a shooting at the home of Famer and Lorene Halbert in McDowell on March 11.

54-year-old Famer was killed in the shooting. His wife, Lorene, was wounded. Wright was also shot during the incident.

Mr. Wright was recently returned to Floyd County from Cabell County, W.Va. where he was arrested, after being released from a Huntington hospital.

His preliminary hearing is now set for Thursday.

Ronald’s wife Loretta is also behind bars charged with complicity to murder and attempted murder.

On Tuesday, her attorney filed a motion asking she be released on house arrest, but the judge denied the request saying he believes she is a threat to the community.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 3/20/13 @ 8 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A husband and wife charged in a Floyd County murder last week both had court hearings on Tuesday.

The deadly shooting happened at the home of Famer and Lorene Halbert in McDowell on March 11.

54-year-old Famer was killed in the shooting. His wife, Lorene, was wounded.

Ronald Wright, 64, of Printer, Ky., who is being charged with murder and attempted murder in the case, had an extradition hearing in Cabell County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

Wright was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant after being released from a Huntington hospital last Thursday night. Wright was also shot during the incident.

Wright's attorney told the court that Wright told him that "he doesn't know why he's charged" and would like to get back to Kentucky to begin the process.

Ronald Wright waived extradition and is expected to be returned to Floyd County early next month.

Several hours later, his wife, Loretta, appeared in a Floyd County courtroom for her preliminary hearing. She is charged with attempted murder and complicity to murder in the case.

During the hearing, a Kentucky State Police detective took the stand and gave his account of what happened that night.

Detective Jason Dials says the couple was visiting Lorene and Famer Halbert to talk about the death of the Wrights' son. Dials said it was not long before things went terribly wrong.

"At one point as they were getting ready to leave, Ronald had asked if he could us the restroom. He went back towards the bathroom. Shortly thereafter they heard a gunshot," said Dials.

The detective said Ronald Wright shot Famer Halbert while he was sleeping in his bed in the back bedroom.

"It looked to be, just at observation, close, a contact shot, maybe a little less than contact," said Detective Dials.

Dials said when Ronald Wright came back there was a struggle for the gun, and both Ronald Wright and Lorene Halbert ended up wounded.

Then Dials said the Wrights then fled the house.

Last week, Lorene Halbert said the Wrights blamed her and Famer for their son’s his death.

Lorene Halbert and Loretta Wright are sisters

Officials say seven children under the age of 10 were in the home during the shooting but none were harmed.

Following the hearing, the judge found enough probable cause to send the case to the grand jury. He also denied a motion to have Loretta Wright released on house arrest.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/19/13 @ 10:45 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man charged with a Floyd County, Ky. murder had nothing to say following his extradition hearing in Huntington Tuesday morning.

Last Thursday night, Ronald Wright, 64, of Printer, Ky., was booked in the Western Regional Jail in Cabell County on a fugitive from justice warrant after being released from a Huntington hospital.

Kentucky State Police are charging Wright with murder and attempted murder in connection with a shooting at the home of Famer and Lorene Halbert in McDowell on March 11.

54-year-old Famer was killed in the shooting. His wife, Lorene, was wounded. Wright was also shot during the incident.

Wright, with a bandage on his left hand, appeared to be somewhat confused during his extradition hearing in Cabell County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

Wright's attorney told the court that Wright told him that "he doesn't know why he's charged" and would like to get back to Kentucky to begin the process.

We tried talking to Wright as he left the courtroom, but he told us, "I don't talk to nobody."

Wright is expected to be returned to Floyd County early next month.

Wright’s wife, Loretta, was also arrested and charged complicity to murder and complicity to attempted murder. She is being held in the Floyd County Detention Center in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Floyd County District Court.

Lorene Halbet and Loretta Wright are sisters.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/15/13 @ 8:30 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va (WSAZ) -- A man charged with a Floyd County, Ky. murder has been released from a Huntington hospital, and is now in jail in Cabell County.

Ronald Wright, 64, of Printer, Ky., was booked in the Western Regional Jail on a fugitive from justice warrant Thursday night.

Kentucky State Police are charging Wright with murder and attempted murder in connection with shooting at the home of Famer and Lorene Halbert in McDowell on Tuesday. Wright was also shot during the incident.

54-year-old Famer was killed in the shooting. His wife, Lorene, was wounded.

Wright’s wife, Loretta, was also arrested and charged complicity to murder and complicity to attempted murder. She was arraigned on the charges Wednesday.

Loretta is being held in the Floyd County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond.

Lorene Halbet and Loretta Wright are sisters.

An extradition hearing for Ronald Wright is expected to be held in the next couple of days.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/14/13
MCDOWELL, Ky. (WSAZ) – One of the victims of Tuesday nights deadly shooting in Floyd County says she knows why her husband was killed and why she was shot by family member.

The shooting happened at the home of Famer and Lorene Halbert in McDowell.

Kentucky State Police say the other two people involved in the shooting were Ronald and Loretta Wright.

Lorene Halbert says Loretta Wright is her sister. She says the four gathered at their home Tuesday to visit with their seven grandchildren, but the visit became violent.

“They was getting ready to go; so me and her went on the porch and then all of a sudden we heard this big boom, and we ran into the kitchen and I knew he'd shot my husband,” said Halbert.

According to the criminal complaint, Famer was in his bed
when he was shot. Lorene Halbert said after hearing the shot she was confronted in the kitchen by Ronald Wright who pointed a pistol at her.

Lorene told investigators that Ronald then shot her, and struggle then began over the gun. She said that during the struggle, Ronald might have been shot.

Lorene says at that point, Loretta Wright gained control of the gun and pointed it at her. According to the criminal complaint both women then got into a fight for control of the gun

Detectives say that struggle ended at the front door when Loretta gave the gun to her husband and both fled the residence.

“You know that’s my sister I love my family, you know. I trust them coming in there, but never would have thought they were planning on coming in to shoot us, kill us,” said Halbert.

Lorene claims the Wrights targeted her and Famer for the death of their son months ago, even though police say no foul play was suspected.

“They know we didn't. They want to blame somebody so I guess we was the last ones to have seen him,” said Halbert.

Famer Halber, 54, was pronounced dead at a local hospital following the shooting. Lorene, who was also shot, was treated and released from a local hospital.

Troopers located Ronald Wright at a hospital in Martin where he was being treated for gunshot wounds. They plan to charge him with murder and attempted murder.

Loretta Wright, 50, of Printer, Ky. is charged with complicity to murder and complicity to attempted murder. She was arraigned on the charges Wednesday.

She is being held in the Floyd County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/13/13 @ 3 p.m.
FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A man has been killed and two other people wounded, including the suspect in a shooting in Floyd County, Ky.

The shooting happened at a residence in McDowell on Tuesday.

KSP says troopers arrived at the home and find a husband and wife shot.

Famer Halber, 54, of McDowell, was taken to a local hospital where he died. Lorene Halbert, 50, was taken to the same hospital where she was treated and released for a single gunshot wound.

Troopers say a third person, Ronald Wright, was located at another hospital with a gunshot wound. Wright was later transferred to a hospital in Huntington.

KSP says arrest warrants have been issued for Wright. He is being charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Loretta Wright has also been arrested and charged with complicity to murder. She was taken to the Floyd County Detention Center.

The shooting happened at the Halbert’s residence. No motive has been released for the shooting.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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