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Murder of Justin Baumgardner and conviction of Tim Wright questioned on Reasonable Doubt

Police tape

Reasonable Doubt is in Amherst County, Virginia, to investigate the murder of Justin Baumgardner, who was gunned down in his truck in 2008.

Timothy “Tim” Wayne Wright Jr. was the Gulf War veteran charged and convicted of the crime. However, he maintains his innocence, and many have said that he may be the victim of a botched case.

Justin Baumgardner was just 19 years old when somebody chased him down as he drove his truck and fired into his vehicle at high speed with a .380-caliber pistol. He was struck in the side and died from his injuries.

Baumgardner and his bullet-riddled truck was found the following morning, May 4, 2008, several feet up a driveway about 5 miles west of Monacan Park, VA.

Tim Wright was a US Marine who was only home from Iraq two months when he found himself under suspicion for the murder of Baumgardner.

The police were informed that Baumgardner and Wright were embroiled in a love triangle with a seventeen-year-old girl called Nicole Turpin. A Justin Davis told the cops that he was with the two men at Monacan Park where they had argued and that Wright had flown into a jealous rage.

The prosecution would later argue that Davis had driven Wright’s truck in pursuit of Baumgardner but that Wright had been the one to pull the trigger, thereby ending the young man’s life.

Wright’s defense argued that cellphone records showed that he was not with Davis on the night of the murder. They claimed that Davis was the real killer, but because he was the son of a deputy sheriff, his word was believed over Wright.

The gun used in the murder is thought to have belonged to Davis; however, he claimed that Wright had borrowed it.

Wright claimed that he had never had a relationship with Turpin, but the prosecution produced an image that showed the pair hugging and kissing. Turpin herself testified against Wright.

Tim Wright’s family say evidence was ignored to protect Justin Davis

A jury found Wright guilty of first-degree murder, and in December 2008, he was sentenced to spend 63 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Wright’s family, friends, and lawyers argue that because of Davis’s relationship to an individual who was active in the case, the truth was swept under the carpet and that the police built a false case against an innocent man.

Private investigators have since said that the forensic evidence suggests that the shooting could not have happened the way Davis said it did. They also point to witnesses changing their stories and say that Wright’s fellow convicts who testified against him were not reliable.

At the time of writing, Wright remains in prison.

More from Reasonable Doubt

Follow the links to read about more murders where the convictions have been questioned on Reasonable Doubt.

Roy Fuller was stabbed a shocking 123 times in his Virginia home. The police say his friend Bruce Duane Walton killed him during a drunken argument.

Chad Swedberg was shot dead as he worked in the woods making maple syrup near his home in rural Becker County, Minnesota. The police said his friend, Ken Andersen, shot him from a distance with a rifle.

Reasonable Doubt airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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