Chelsea's Story

A self-portrait by Chelsea Richardson
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

A few new developments in an old story: I was an intern when Glenna Whitley and I wrote about the brutal murder of a Mansfield couple named Rick and Suzanna Wamsley in 2003. Their son, Andrew Wamsley, and his girlfriend, Chelsea Richardson, have been sentenced, respectively, to life in prison and death for their roles in the Wamsleys' murder. A third accomplice, Susana Toledano, plead guilty to murder and became a witness for the state, testifying against Andrew and Chelsea.

Rick Wamsley was shot in the head and stabbed 21 times. Suzanna Wamsley was shot and then stabbed 18 times. At the time of the murder, Andrew Wamsley and Toledano were both 19, and Richardson was 20 years old. Officials say the trio hoped to collect the Wamsley's $1.65 million estate.

Chelsea Richardson was the first woman ever to be sentenced to death in Tarrant County. Now 23, she's the subject of an upcoming We channel documentary on women on Death Row.

Richardson's appellate attorney, Bob Ford, has unleashed an all-out assault on the Tarrant County District Attorney, Richardson's trial judge and her former defense attorneys. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the details: Judge Everett Young, who's recused himself from the case, is accused of favoring the prosecution, defense attorneys Warren St. John and Terry Barlow are called "ineffective" for not getting Richardson a mental health evaluation, and Ford has requested that the district attorney's office remove itself entirely from Richardson's appeals case. As of Friday, the district attorney's hadn't backed down.

The Startlegram also has a compelling video of a jail interview with Richardson. --Andrea Grimes

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.