Release date: 2017-06-15
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[Archived] Wright Sentenced to Serve 7 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2017

Elizabeth Wright - MugshotOn June 15, 2017, Elizabeth Grace Wright, a 33-year-old Alexandria resident, and former patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was sentenced to serve 7 years in the penitentiary. The defendant had previously pleaded no contest to the charge of Malicious Wounding.

The defendant began employment as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2007. She was terminated from that position in early 2016, and had been barred from returning to the premises. 

The evidence showed that on the night of April 30, 2016, the defendant returned to the premises of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The defendant would later tell police that she went there because she was angry about being fired, and she wanted to hurt someone. She entered an elevator in the parking garage, and waited for a victim.  She was armed with a black folding knife. 

The victim, a 51-year old male, was working as a DJ at an event at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that night.  The event had concluded, and the victim was returning to the parking garage to get his vehicle so he could load up his equipment and return home.

When the victim entered the elevator, the defendant said, “No, I’m here to kill you.”  She then stabbed the victim in the side of his neck from behind with the knife.  Wright stabbed the victim twice more before he was able to flee the area.  Within minutes Alexandria Police Department officers responded to the scene and the defendant was taken into custody without further incident.  The victim suffered serious but not life-threatening stab wounds. 

The defendant told the police officers she was angry about being fired. She told them she went to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that night intending hurt someone. 

The defendant was sentenced to 20 years of prison with all but 7 years suspended. The 13-year suspended portion of her sentence was conditioned upon 5 years of supervised probation with mental health treatment, uniform good behavior, no contact with the victim, payment of restitution to the victim, and payment of court costs.  She was also barred from returning to the premises of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a condition of her sentence. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Sean Sherlock handled the matter for the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter said: “I am grateful to the Alexandria Police Department for their hard work on this serious case. The significant sentence imposed on the defendant is a reminder that violent crime is not tolerated in this City, and violent offenses will be zealously investigated and zealously prosecuted. My thoughts are with the victim. It is simply a miracle that he was not more seriously wounded, and I wish him a full recovery.”

The defendant has remained in custody since her arrest.  She is currently incarcerated in the William G. Truesdale Alexandria Adult Detention Center pending her transfer to the Department of Corrections, where she will serve the remainder of her sentence. 

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