Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento mom accepts plea for lighting daughter afire

Porche Wright is arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court in Sacramento on Thursday, April 30, 2015. Wright accepted a plea deal on charges of setting fire to her 7-year-old daughter.
Porche Wright is arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court in Sacramento on Thursday, April 30, 2015. Wright accepted a plea deal on charges of setting fire to her 7-year-old daughter. Sacramento Bee file

Porche Latrice Wright pleaded no contest in Sacramento Superior Court on Thursday to setting her young daughter on fire at their home last April in a deal that could send the Sacramento woman to prison for 10 years to life.

Prosecutors said an angry Wright soaked her then 7-year-old daughter with a can of gasoline inside Wright’s El Camino Avenue duplex the night of April 3, 2015, then marched her into a bathroom where Wright set the child ablaze with a lighter. The girl endured the burns that covered nearly 40 percent of her body into the next afternoon when Wright’s boyfriend saw the girl and called Sacramento police.

Wright was arrested. The girl was taken to the hospital.

The wounds Wright inflicted were devastating. Roughly 80 percent of the child’s burns were third-degree, said prosecuting Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Nancy Cochrane.

The girl “will be scarred the rest of her life as a result of,” her mother’s actions, Cochrane said at the plea hearing before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Goodman.

Wright stood placidly inside her courtroom jail cell near defense attorney Amanda Reeves on Thursday as Cochrane read the stark narrative of the charges against her, speaking only to acknowledge she understood the charges against her and the conditions of her plea.

As part of the plea agreement, Wright pleaded no contest and will serve seven years to life on the attempted murder charge, plus three years for an allegation of inflicting great bodily injury.

Wright will be sentenced Feb. 25 in Goodman’s courtroom.

In one of the more chilling moments of Wright’s preliminary hearing in August, Sacramento police officer Krista Koppinger testified she saw the girl burned from head to foot when she responded to the duplex on the April 4 afternoon.

“I saw a little girl standing in the hallway,” Koppinger testified in August. “She said, ‘Yes, she had set me on fire, but it was an accident.’ ”

Detectives at the preliminary hearing testified that Wright’s then-boyfriend said Wright had psychological issues exacerbated by drug use.

Sacramento Superior Court records show Wright had a history of abuse. She was scheduled to return to court to show proof she had completed a batterer’s treatment program related to a 2014 felony domestic violence charge at the time of her arrest.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

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