The Galveston County Daily News
Copyright © 2004, The Galveston County Daily News
Man not guilty of burglary, but guilty of trespassing
By Scott E. Williams
Published January 13, 2004
GALVESTON, Texas – A man stabbed nine times after entering the League City home
where he used to live was convicted of criminal trespass Monday afternoon.
Richard Wight, 33, faced a charge of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit
aggravated assault. The charge carries a possible prison term of five to 99 years, as well
as a fine of up to $10,000.
A state district court jury in Galveston found him not guilty of that charge, but guilty of
the misdemeanor trespassing charge. That charge carries a possible jail term of up to a
year, as well as a fine of up to $4,000.
Sonja Phillips, the woman who lived in the house with her boyfriend and with a
daughter she had years earlier with Wight, had testified that Wight broke into the house
and threatened to kill her and her boyfriend.
Not in dispute was a struggle that ensued, ending when the current boyfriend stabbed
Wight nine times in the back.
Phillips also said she had practically no relationship with Wight anymore, but defense
attorney Tad A. Nelson showed jurors records of hundreds of telephone calls made
between Phillips and Wight in the months before the December 2002 incident.
The house was bought by a man with whom Phillips had a romantic relationship,
Nelson argued in court.
”The jurors listened to what she had to say and found she was not credible,” Nelson
said after the verdict.
Assistant district attorney Lonnie Cox said jurors heard much about the long
relationship between Wight and Phillips.
“I knew there was a little bit of murky water about whether the defendant had any
business in there at all, and there was definitely some murky water determining what
his intentions were,” Cox said.
State District Court Judge Susan Criss, who presided over the case, will determine
Wight’s punishment next week.