Dead Wrong

Since Monday, I've been parked on an unforgiving bench in the 297th District Court in Tarrant County, watching the trial of Andrew Wamsley, the 21-year-old Mansfield man (and my fellow Mansfield High School alum) who is accused of corralling his girlfriend, her best friend and the manager of a local International House of Pancakes to help him murder his parents for their $1.65 million estate.

Today, I checked the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's coverage of the trial and noticed that reporter Nathaniel Jones has his facts wrong--in the lead, of all places. Of the testimony given by accomplice Susana Toledano against Wamsley, he writes:

"Minutes before she shot Suzanna and Rick Wamsley, Susana Toledano said, she had second thoughts about carrying out the killings. But the Wamsleys' 21-year-old son, Andrew, pressured her into following through with the act, she said. Toledano and Andrew Wamsley were in his room--an upstairs bedroom--preparing for the shootings when he kept coaching her."

The problem is that Andrew Wamsley did not coach Toledano before she shot Suzanna; his girlfriend, Chelsea Richardson, did. See, there were three attempts on the Wamsleys' lives: shooting at the gas tank of the couple's Jeep while they were driving; entering their home at night with plans to shoot in late November 2003 but chickening out; and entering their home at night in December 2003 with plans to shoot and actually doing it.

Toledano has actually testified that when they chickened out, Wamsley had been coaching Toledano from his upstairs bedroom. When they actually committed the murders, girlfriend Richardson coached Toledano from the dining room before giving her a shove into the living room, where Suzanna Wamsley lay sleeping on the couch.

Maybe tomorrow morning I'll bring Nathaniel a cup of coffee so he can pay better attention during crucial testimony. --Andrea Grimes

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Andy Frey

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