Piqua man gets 10 years for attempted murder

Shot man in neck during robbery attempt

By Melanie Yingst - myingst@civitasmedia.com

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee sentenced James Wright, 35, of Piqua, to serve 10 years in prison for attempted murder, aggravated robbery and weapons under disability charges on Thursday.

Following a joint recommendation with the state, Judge Gee sentenced Wright to serve a mandatory three years for a gun specification charge for vioaltion parole and seven years for attempted murder. The two sentences will run consecutively. Wright was then sentenced to serve seven years for aggravated robbery and 36 months for the weapons under disability charge. The two sentences will be served concurrently with the previous sentences for a total of 10 years in prison.

“Mr. Wright, it’s a long time. I hope you come out determined to do better for your family and for the rest of us,” Judge Gee said before Wright was remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

Wright entered a plea of no contest and was found guilty by the court last week.

On Nov. 31, Wright shot Robert V. Smith, 35, of Piqua, in the neck during an attempted robbery on South Main Street.

Officials state that Wright allegedly wanted money from Smith and fired multiple shots during an attempt to rob him. After being shot, Smith apparently went to 304 1/2 S. Main St. seeking help and Wright allegedly followed the wounded man, still attempting to rob him.

When Smith collapsed, Wright allegedly left the handgun used in the assault at the 304 1/2 S. Main St. address, and then fled. Officers later recovered the weapon during the execution of a search warrant.

Smith survived the incident and was released from the hospital the following day.

“I’d like to apologize to the victim and his family,” said Wright prior to sentencing. Wright also apologized to his family, including his two kids, as well as to the community.

Wright’s attorney, public defender Steve Lehman said it was fortunate the victim didn’t suffer more serious injuries and that Wright’s actions were alcohol and drug related. Lehman said he hoped Wright would seek treatment for those issues during his time in prison.

The victim in the incident did not provide a statement to the court.

Wright received 97 days of jail credit. The incident occurred while Wright was on post-release control for a prior robbery offense.Wright was also ordered to serve five years of mandatory post-release control upon his release from prison.

Shot man in neck during robbery attempt

By Melanie Yingst