BOONE COUNTY, Ind.– A Boone County judge found a man guilty Thursday in the 2017 stabbing death of a 73-year-old man and the assault of the victim’s wife.
Zachariah Wright, 22, was found guilty by Judge Matthew Kincaid of 15 counts, including murder, attempted murder, attempted rape, burglary, aggravated battery, criminal confinement, sexual battery and theft.
Wright was found not guilty of one of the counts of theft.
Wright killed Maxwell Foster, 73, and assaulted his wife on June 18, 2017 in Lebanon after breaking into their home as they slept. He was 19 at the time of the crime. Court documents show he selected the targets at random, and used the Fosters’ own kitchen knives during the attack. Wright also tried to rape and set Fotster’s wife on fire.
The death penalty was initially sought for Wright, but prosecutors later decided to not seek that punishment.
“After the defendant waived his right to a jury trial, the decision to seek life without the possibility of parole instead of the death penalty was made after a long and thoughtful discussion with the victim’s widow and the investigative team,” Boone County prosecutors said in a statement in September.
Following the guilty finding, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kent Eastwood issued this statement:
“The brutal and senseless acts committed that day created a heartbreaking loss for the Foster family and rocked our community to its core. The strength, courage and grace demonstrated by Sonja Foster and her family over the past two and half years has been nothing short of inspirational. This office is committed to achieving justice for Max, Sonja and their Family. We will now concentrate on the sentencing phase of the case where we will present evidence and argument as to why the Court should impose a sentence of Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole.”
Wright’s sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 16.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story listed Wright’s age as 23. It has since been updated with his correct age of 22.