Melissa Wright goes up for parole again on June 8, 2021. This is her second attempt at parole since her arrest over 19 years ago. If the parole board denies Wright a second time, she will complete her entire sentence in 2027.
Ashley Smith, her 15-year-old daughter, spoke to the court at her last parole hearing and asked them to keep her mother in jail. Wright put Ashley in the oven with the broil setting on when she was 14 months old.
Harm’s Way in Millbrook
On June 10, 2002, this horrible crime happened in the family home on a street in Millbrook, Alabama, called Harm’s Way. Ashley has had third-degree burns since then and has had surgery after surgery to help her get better. She has had 28 surgeries all together.
Dad Hears Ashley S*creaming
On that terrible day, Wright took the racks out of her oven, set it to broil (about 600 degrees), and then put Ashley, who was 14 months old, inside. Robert, her father, was outside the house and heard her scr*eams. He ran into the house right away and found his daughter in the oven. He then called 911.
Wright Gives Police Two Versions of Events
At first, she said Ashley slipped out of her arms and hit the oven. There was proof that story was not true. After a while, Wright said she heard voices telling her to bake Ashley.
Wright admitted to the crime and was given a 25-year prison sentence in 2003.
Wright 2016 Parole Hearing: Parole Denied
Many Wright family members wanted her to be released early in 2016. These included Courtney Brenson, Ashley’s older sister, and Wright’s brother, who told the parole board that his sister could live with him if she was freed and promised the court that he would make her take her psychiatric medications.
When it was Ashley’s turn to speak, she told the court:
“I believe Melissa should remain in jail for several more years before she is released.” The ages of my niece and nephew are about the same as mine and Courtney’s. I truly don’t believe in her, and I worry about their safety. I can’t picture anyone else being in as much pain as I was. Thanks to my mom, stepdad, brothers, and sisters, I now have a great life. Amy, I don’t hate you, but I also don’t love you. I forgot about Melissa.”
Ashley is 21 years old now. Ashley moved in with Rhonda Zaffina, her aunt on her dad’s side, after the terrible event. A small scar on her back is the only scar she has left. Her family jokes that they call it “The Zipper.” There will no longer be any more surgeries.
Do Not Release Melissa Wright
Parole Board, we need you to keep her locked up. Let’s leave it at that: she got 25 years in prison. Just for fun, add a few more years. If it were up to me, anyone who hurts a child would go to prison for life, or we’d have some Wild West or “eye for an eye” justice. It’s sickening how the justice system usually helps criminals.
Thankfully, the justice system listened to Ashley this time and Wright remains behind bars, for now.