Congressional Hearing On 1960s Wall Murder
Helsinki Commission to hear testimony Wednesday in the case of George Wright
The Helsinki Commission, a Congressional commission headed by U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., Wednesday afternoon is scheduled to hold a hearing on international fugitives, using the case of George Wright -- the escaped prisoner who was convicted of murdering a Wall gas station attendent in the 1960s and is now living in Portugal.
Among those scheduled to testify at the 2 p.m. hearing on Captiol Hill is Ann Patterson, of Howell, the daughter of Walter Patterson who was killed by a young George Wright at a Wall Township gas station in 1962 during a robbery.
The event will be streamed live here.
Portuguese police captured the 68-year-old Wright near the capital Lisbon last September, ending his four decades on the lam after escaping from a New Jersey prison.
A lower court judge ruled in November that Wright had become a Portuguese citizen and that, under Portuguese law, the statute of limitations on his 15- to 30-year sentence for the robbery-murder in New Jersey had expired. It consequently refused to send him back to the U.S.
The U.S. appealed. But the ruling was upheld. Twice.
Smith and other memebers of Congress have called for Wright's extradition, but so far Wright is still living in Portugal.