Prosecutor whose bikini photo was reportedly found in inmate's cell resigns $83K-a-year job
A Washington state prosecutor whose bikini photograph wound up in the cell of a prison inmate has resigned from her $83,000-a-year job.
Marriya Wright also allegedly texted and called Matthew Baumrucker over 1,200 times during a period of a little over one month earlier this year. Authorities are now investigating whether Wright helped him avoid being taken into Spokane County custody on a warrant in a felony drug case at a time when he was otherwise lawfully at large, according to the Spokesman Review and KXLY. An earlier Spokesman Review article provides additional details.
At issue is a period in March when police were reportedly investigating an assault case and trying to serve the warrant in the drug case. A warrant says a witness told police that Baumrucker had spoken with a woman named Marriya in a car at a gas station. The witness said she overheard Marriya tell Baumrucker that he “needed to get his warrant taken care of.” Police said they later obtained surveillance footage showing that Baumrucker had entered Wright’s vehicle at that gas station. She allegedly did not turn him in.
After he was taken into custody, Wright repeatedly met with Baumrucker in March and April in a jail area intended for attorney-client visits, although she never represented him, the articles say. Guards reported that Baumrucker, whose forehead bears a tattoo reading “criminal,” had a photo of Wright wearing a bikini in his cell. Wright has competed in bodybuilding contests; it is unclear from the underlying reports whether the photo was from one of her competitions.
A lawyer for Wright, 34, said she could have exercised better judgment but intended to help Baumrucker straighten out his life, KXLY reports. She had been on paid leave from the Spokane County prosecutor’s office since April.
“He came to her, asking for help, and she tried to bring him into the church to help him make better decisions in the future,” said Wright’s attorney, Chris Bugbee. “Unfortunately she was in a position in her own life where this got out of control. She used poor judgment in making some decisions, but the simple fact is everything she did was designed to put him on the straight and narrow.”
Bugbee decined to discuss specific details with the station.
Hat tip: New York Daily News
Updated at 1:40 to add that Wright is a competitive bodybuilder.