Overturning of Murder Conviction Shocks Victim's Sister - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/07/05

Overturning of Murder Conviction Shocks Victim's Sister

Quentin Wright in police custody in 1999. Quentin Wright in police custody in 1999.

The man accused of killing a Savannah taxi driver six years ago may walk free. Last night, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Quentin Wright.

The Savannah teen was found guilty of murdering 48-year-old Randy Chiboucas in May of 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. Yesterday, the high court ruled Wright's conviction violated the Sixth Amendment guaranteeing a defendant's right to ask about a witness's criminal charges.

In Wright's 2000 trial, the court denied any mention of witnesses having criminal backgrounds.

We spoke with Randy Chiboucas' sister today, to whom this latest twist comes as a complete shock.

Six years ago, Linda Chaboucis Hyde lost a brother. The man police say murdered him was sent to jail for life or so she thought.

"They said on the news he's now a free man," she said. "I was thinking, he's not in jail?"

Linda was stunned. "I thought it was over a long time ago."

This morning, she opened up the newspaper, and there was the story again. "I was shocked and appalled this man, this boy, may walk free," she said. "They know he killed my brother and he may get off on a technicality."

Linda called the district attorney's office, hoping for answers. "She had to explain in layman's terms, but I still don't really get it."

She says the DA's office assured her Quentin Wright would not get off. "That's what prisoners do. They appeal appeal, appeal," Linda said. "They've got nothing better to do, just sitting in jail."

And the DA's office promised the next trial would be the last. "Try and try all you want, you will pay. It's going to happen," she said. "You are going to pay for your crime and serve your time."

Quentin Wright is not exactly a free man. He is still in jail, unable to post bond. No date has been set for the retrial.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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