Suspect in cold case accepts 20 years in prison - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Suspect in cold case accepts 20 years in prison

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Brian Sturgeon in court on January 24, 2014. Brian Sturgeon in court on January 24, 2014.
Debra Wright (Source: Uphold family) Debra Wright (Source: Uphold family)
Don Wright Don Wright
John Balenovich John Balenovich
The scene of Derba Wright's murder (Source: WAVE 3 Archives) The scene of Derba Wright's murder (Source: WAVE 3 Archives)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The suspect in a cold case nearly two decades old has accepted a plea deal, but the victim's family isn't so sure it's enough time behind bars.

Brian Sturgeon is charged with the 1995 murder of Debra Wright, 30. Prosecutors credit DNA for leading police to Sturgeon.

Wright's former husband said 20 years in prison wasn't enough for a lifetime of heartache for him.

"I loved that woman," said Don Wright. "He took her away from us."

For more than 14 years, the case was cold until a fingerprint on a wall led Louisville Metro Police to Sturgeon. LMPD detectives linked Sturgeon to the murder after his DNA was entered into a national database.

Prosecutors claimed it would be an even bigger gamble to take the case to a jury.

"Sometimes it's better to plead and make him take responsibility. "Make him get up there and make him say ‘I'm guilty,'" said Assistant Commonwealth Attorney John Balenovich. "During that time, witnesses move around, witnesses passed away. Over a certain amount of time, there are complications with cold cases."

Sturgeon will be sentenced March 11.

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