SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Members of the New England Innocence Project are calling for a new trial for a Springfield man who was convicted of murder back in the 1980’s.

Lawyers for Edward Wright say he’s been wrongly imprisoned for 39 years and has now filed his sixth motion for a new trial.

“We believe that justice was not served in Mr. Wrights case and his conviction must be overturned,” said Senior Staff Attorney Stephanie Roberts Hartung.

In 1984, Penny Anderson was murdered at her apartment in Springfield. She had been stabbed more than 60 times. In 1985, a Superior Court jury convicted Edward Wright, finding him guilty of first degree murder.

However, members of the New England Innocence Project say he did not commit the crime and that there is evidence to prove his innocence. Executive Director Radha Natajan said, “We can tell you that there were two suspects that the police never fully investigated, one of whom threatened to harm the victim the night she was murdered, tried to sell a knife days after her murder, lied about his alibi and later confessed to murdering the victim twice.”

In the case, prosecutors said that Wright left Club 418 with Anderson, went back to her apartment and stabbed her multiple times. They also said his shoes matched bloody footprints in Anderson’s apartment, and that blood was found inside the car he was driving.

“His jury never knew there was DNA evidence supporting his innocence. The jury never knew that they were lied to by an investigating officer about the integrity of the crime scene and the reliability of the evidence,” said Hartung.

In a statement to 22News, the Hampden District Attorney’s office said “Several years ago and prior to today’s filing, the Hampden District Attorney’s Office assented to and conducted a forensic review, which did not reveal any new evidence questioning the integrity of this conviction.”

The D.A. Office’s Appeal Unit says they will review his most recent filing and present its case in court.

Local News

Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.