ARIZONA NEWS

Man in 2018 Hoover Dam bridge barricade sentenced to nearly 8 years

Dec 23, 2020, 5:40 AM
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)...
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada man who blocked the Colorado River bridge near Hoover Dam with a homemade armored vehicle and assault-style rifles in 2018 has been sentenced to seven years and nine months in an Arizona state prison.

Matthew Phillip Wright, 33, of Henderson, was sentenced in Kingman, Arizona, after pleading no contest to felony terrorism, weapon and unlawful flight charges, according to court records obtained Tuesday.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle also sentenced Wright on Thursday to four years of probation after prison. He has already served about 2 1/2 years behind bars.

Wright’s attorney, Michael Denea, called the plea deal a fair resolution to a difficult case and noted that Wright could have faced life in prison under Arizona law.

Wright entered his plea in February. A different judge in June rejected the agreement, calling a sentence of less than 10 years too lenient.

Wright blocked traffic for about 90 minutes in June 2018 on U.S. 93, the main highway between Las Vegas and Phoenix, by parking his vehicle near the midpoint of the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, displaying weapons and holding a sign that read “release the OIG report.”

The message appeared to refer to a U.S. Justice Department internal report that had been released that week about the department’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.

Wright, an unemployed Marine veteran, eventually drove the truck into Arizona, where its tires were flattened by police spike strips. He surrendered to authorities on a dirt road in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Police said they later discovered two assault-style rifles, two handguns and 900 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle.

At a court hearing in July 2018, a judge mentioned handwritten letters Wright sent from jail to President Donald Trump, members of Nevada’s congressional delegation and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies invoking a motto used in the QAnon conspiracy community.

Wright’s sentencing was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona Renaissance Festival Photo)...
Wills Rice

Arizona Renaissance Festival returns to East Valley on Saturday

Arizona's 35th Annual Renaissance Festival returns to Arizona on Saturday with a medieval 16th-century European village atmosphere.
5 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Man dies making left turn after driver runs red light in Phoenix

A man was killed in Phoenix on Friday after a driver ran a red light, striking the victim's car in an intersection, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs creates panel to study teacher retention problem

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order Thursday aimed at figuring out ways to keep teachers in classrooms.
1 day ago
Protesters march Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., over the death of Tyre Nichols, who di...
Associated Press

6th officer fired after beating death of Tyre Nichols

A sixth Memphis officer was fired Friday after an internal police investigation showed he violated multiple department policies in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols.
1 day ago
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Denver Court throws out Wyoming doctor’s pill convictions

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out the convictions of a doctor accused of overprescribing powerful pain medication and ordered a new trial for him.
1 day ago
(Photo illustration by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

$700M Powerball prize latest in string of giant jackpots

There is another giant lottery jackpot up for grabs Saturday night, the latest in a string of big prizes enticing players to plunk down $2.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Man in 2018 Hoover Dam bridge barricade sentenced to nearly 8 years