Winnfred Wright: cult leader to be paroled

A former Marinwood man who was convicted on six counts of felony child abuse and sentenced to 16 years and eight months in state prison will be released on Monday.

Winnfred Wright, who lived with three women with whom he fathered 12 children, will be supervised by parole agents from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Marin County District Attorney Edward Berberian said his office was notified of Wright’s release in September, when corrections department officials said he would be freed on “non-revocable parole.”

Berberian said that news was “very disturbing” because the case that began with the death of a 19-month-old child in 2001 was so tragic.

Berberian urged state officials to reconsider the terms of Wright’s release. He was told Tuesday afternoon that the parole conditions had been modified and Wright will be supervised.

Wright pleaded guilty and was sentenced in March 2003 in Marin County Superior Court along with three co-defendants. Prosecutors said he was the leader of the cultlike group, the Family, that raised children under severe conditions governed by a “Book of Rules,” that called for restricting their diets, as well as binding and whipping them.

The case was uncovered after Ndigo Campisi-Nyah-Wright was taken to the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael by two women who said he was not breathing. The toddler suffered malformed legs, a skull fracture, broken bones and rickets among other ailments caused by calcium deficiency and starvation.

Wright’s children, who ranged in age from 19 months to 16 years when Ndigo died, were placed in foster homes in Marin and elsewhere.

– Source / Full Story: Former Marinwood Cult Leader to be Paroled, Nancy Isles Nation, San Rafael Patch, Nov. 17, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Winnfred Wright prosecutors want supervised parole

The unsupervised release program was part of a 2009 plan adopted by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to cut prison costs to help the state reduce its multibillion-dollar deficit.

Wright was sentenced in March 2003 to serve a 16-year term in prison based on six counts of child abuse. Authorities said his 13 children, ages 19 months to 16 years, were subjected to ritual starvation and terror at the Marinwood home he shared with five women, including two co-defendants who pleaded guilty to child neglect and child endangerment charges.

Having completed the minimum amount of time in prison, Wright is scheduled to be released Monday, Berberian said.

Berberian said Wright was the wrong kind of offender to ever be eligible for such treatment, given the risk he poses to society based on his previous conduct alone.

– Source / Full Story: Winnfred Wright prosecutors want supervised parole, Jaxon van Derbek, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 17, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Paroled abuser Winnfred Wright will be monitored

State parole officials confirmed Wednesday that a man convicted of multiple counts of child abuse stemming from the cult-like organization he headed will be supervised when he is released on parole next week.
Read more:

– Source / Full Story: Paroled abuser Winnfred Wright will be monitored, Jaxon Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 18, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 1:02 PM, Central European Time (CET)