A Michigan man has been charged in the Tuesday homicide of a woman in Park Rapids, Minn.
Richard Derek Wright, 40, of Belleville, Mich., is charged with five counts related to the death of Sonya Marie Hennagir, 40, of Park Rapids. The charges, filed Wednesday in Hubbard County District Court, include murder in the second degree, attempted murder in the first degree and criminal sexual conduct.
Wright had worked as a foreman for a pipeline company in the Park Rapids area, said Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne. He said Wright and the victim knew each other.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the Park Rapids home about 4 a.m. Tuesday and found Wright assaulting a woman in the driveway.
The woman said she had gone to the home after receiving a text message from her friend who lived there. She found her friend dead in the living room, police said. She told police she ran upstairs to look for a young child she knew was in the house, and saw Wright sexually assaulting the child.
The woman said she screamed and, fearing that Wright had heard her, she ran outside and started calling 911 on her cell phone. Wright chased after her and took the phone, allegedly choking her until she began to lose consciousness, according to the complaint.
After several officers handcuffed Wright, one officer went into the house and found the child, terrified and shaking. Authorities later interviewed the child, who told police that Wright had sexually assaulted her.
Wright told police that he choked the victim while he raped her. The medical examiner has ruled that Hennagir's death was a homicide by strangulation.
COURTNEY BLANCHARD AND LARRY OAKES