NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 18, 2013

Lawyer: Wright is getting mental health treatment

Mom accused of forcing kids to drink bleach held on bail

SEABROOK — Wendy Wright, the 33-year-old mother accused of forcing her two young children to drink bleach last month, was arraigned yesterday at Hampton District Court and is being held on $200,000 cash bail on two counts of attempted first-degree assault.

Wright, who was ordered to stay at least 100 feet away from her two children, ages 6 and 7, is due back in court next Wednesday.

At her arraignment yesterday, Tony Naro, Wright’s attorney, asked the charges against his client be dropped, saying there was no proof she tried to poison her children. He added that his client suffered from mental illness and is taking medication to combat her condition. Naro went on to criticize the prosecution’s original request for $500,000 cash bail, saying his client could only afford $1,000.

‘‘This case comes down to mental illness,’’ Naro said at Wright’s arraignment. He said she received treatment for her ‘‘undertreated and perhaps undiagnosed mental illness’’ while she spent three weeks at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He said Wright left with a number of prescriptions to help with her treatment.

Wright was also ordered to remain drug- and alcohol-free and not possess any firearms, ammunition or any destructive devices.

Wright was arrested inside her Boston-area hospital on June 28, almost 10 days after police and firefighters were called to her home for a medical emergency, where they discovered Wright and her children in distress. They were quickly transported to the hospital. The children have since been released, and state officials have made arrangements for their care through family court.

Attempted first-degree assault upon someone under age 13 is a Class A felony carrying a maximum of 7 1/2 to 15 years at the N.H. State Prison and a $4,000 fine on each count.

Bleach, a common household chemical typically used for cleaning and killing germs, can cause serious internal injuries if ingested in moderate quantity. Large doses can be fatal. It has a corrosive effect on human tissues, and in large doses, it can cause breathing problems and heart attack.

Seabrook Detective Daniel Lawrence and prosecutor Scott Mendes picked up Wright Tuesday evening after she was discharged from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She waived extradition and was taken to New Hampshire.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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