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Prosecutors to Seek Execution of Teen Charged in Lebanon Murder

Wright accused of trying to set 73-year-old murder victim's wife on fire after rape attempt

(LEBANON) - Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a teenager accused of murdering a 73-year-old Lebanon man.


Zachariah Wright is charged with breaking into Max Foster's house and stabbing him to death, then trying to sexually assault Foster's wife -- and trying to set her on fire when she made a run for it. Boone County Prosecutor Todd J. Meyer calls the circumstances of the crime "everyone's worst nightmare."


Indiana hasn't sentenced anyone to death since 2013, and hasn't carried out an execution since 2009, when Matthew Wrinkles of Evansville was put to death for the murders of his estranged wife Debbie, her brother, and the brother's wife.


Wright faces 23 criminal charges, including murder, attempted murder, burglary, attempted arson, attempted rape, and theft. Killing someone during the commission of another violent crime makes a murder eligible for the death penalty. The filing also seeks the death penalty because Wright was on probation for a burglary which took place 14 months before Foster's murder in June.


Meyer calls the crimes "horrific." He says he conferred with Foster's family, Attorney General Curtis Hill's office, and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council before filing the death penalty request.


Wright's trial is scheduled for December.

(Photo: Brian A. Jackson/Thinkstock)

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