October 3, 2008, News 12 at 6 o'clock
AUGUSTA, Ga.--- She made history when she took the job as Augusta's top prosecutor. Ashley Wright is the first woman to have that job. She's been District Attorney for just a few months now, but she spent a career building her reputation--- as one tough prosecutor.
Ashley Wright spent a dozen years as an Assistant D.A. going face to face with accused killers. Renaldo Rivera was just one of the 7 death penalty cases she prosecuted. Juries returned guilty verdicts in all of them.
News 12's Richard Rogers sat down with Wright for this One on One interview. He asked, "What makes you mad as a prosecutor?"
"I think one of the things that's so frustrating is so much of what happens- particularly with violent crime is just so senseless. Wright continued, "we see people getting killed for 5 dollars, we see people getting killed over clothing."
It can be a frustrating career--- but its one Ashley Wright loves. When her boss, Danny Craig left the D.A's office to become a superior court judge, Governor Sonny Purdue picked Craig's long time Assistant D.A. to replace him.
Rogers asked, "It this your dream job?"
"It is, i still love it, I'm very lucky- i get to like what i do and not everybody can say that," Wright said. "I've been pretty fortunate all my live with the exception of telemarketing which I did not enjoy", she chuckled. I've enjoyed my jobs. I've enjoyed waiting tables, selling clothes- doing all kinds of things--- but I do enjoy this."
And when she took this job, Ashley made history. She's the districts first female D.A.
"You know its very exciting- but to me", Wright said, "its not surprising for our community. I've never felt handicapped for being a woman here."
All Ashley Wright really needs now- is some time to move in.
Rogers asked, "If I were to go in your office right now, what would I see?"
"It looks like a war zone in there."
"Why is that?"
"Because i haven't finished unpacking all of my boxes and I haven't hung anything on the walls."
We did finally convince Ashley to show us her office, and she's right. It is- a work in progress. There will be plenty of time for moving in.
For now, she's busy running an office with 21 lawyers handling cases in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties. She's not in the courtroom as much as she used to be, but when there's a death penalty case, you can count on seeing Ashley Wright in action.
She does have to run for re-election in November. And she's running unopposed.