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Life Term for Jail-House Lawyer

December 28, 1987|Associated Press

Willie Ray Wisely, who was convicted in 1982 of murdering his stepfather but avoided sentencing through years of jail-house lawyering, was sentenced today in Orange County Superior Court to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Judge Manuel A. Ramirez noted in sentencing Wisely that he "finds the defendant not remorseful for his crime." Wisely, 34, was convicted of murdering Robert Bray, 61, in 1981 by rigging a truck cab to fall on him. Acting as his own lawyer, Wisely managed to win court orders that gave him a suite of jail cells, big enough for eight men, that served as his office for legal work and equipment such as a personal computer. Wisely also had a law clerk to help him in his defense. Earlier this year it was revealed that he and the clerk, 25-year-old Gail Marie Harrington, were secretly married. She was subsequently arrested and accused of smuggling drugs into the Orange County Jail.

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