Man, 25, gets life for murdering girlfriend

By Marques White, Weekend morning anchor, reporter, mwhite@wjxt.com
Published On: Mar 18 2014 10:28:12 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 18 2014 06:20:00 PM EDT

VIDEO: Calvin Wright was sentenced to life today for the murder of Rolisha Thomas on Thanksgiving day 2012. She was gunned down in the street in front of her house.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 25-year-old Jacksonville man convicted of second-degree murder for killing his girlfriend on Thanksgiving Day 2012 was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.

Calvin Wright was convicted last month on the murder charge in the death of 27-year-old Rolisha Thomas (pictured below), as well as five counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Wright was sentenced to life on the murder charge, 30 years on the attempted murder charges and 15 years for being a prison-release re-offender. The sentences run concurrently.

Thomas' mother said she feels like justice has been served.

"It's been real bad, running back and forth, not knowing what's going to happen to the man that murdered my child," Theresa Thomas said. "I really hate what happened to him, but I more hate what happened to my child because they (Wright's family) can still go visit him, but I never get to be able to see her."

Theresa Thomas said her daughter left behind a 9-year-old daughter of her own.

"My grandbaby misses her mother so much that she can't even stop crying," Thomas said. "She's been saying how she sees her in her dreams, how she wishes she was here with her. She wish she was home with her and next to her and how she was her idol. She dresses like her now."

In court Tuesday, a prosecutor read a letter written by Rolisha Thomas' daughter.

"I'll keep her in my heart, on my pictures and on my shirt," the attorney read. "I hate you for killing my mom. I miss you so very much."

In November 2012, Wright and Thomas were involved in an argument in front of her Almeda Street home in Northwest Jacksonville.

The investigation revealed that Thomas told Wright she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him and wanted her cellphone back. During the argument, Wright pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Thomas at point-blank range.

He then turned toward several others who had witnessed the shooting, including members of both Thomas' and his own family, and fired multiple shots in their direction, prosecutors said.

Thomas was taken to a hospital, where she died from her injuries. No one else was injured.

Wright fled the crime scene before later turning himself in to police.

Wright apologized to Thomas' family Tuesday.

"Everything happens for a reason," he said. "If I could take it all back, I would."

Wright's family members told the judge they believed he had emotional problems growing up.

"That is the devil himself. I'm sorry that it had to come through my son," his mother said.

Now that Wright has been sentenced, Thomas' family members are trying to move forward.

"I'm happy, but that still don't bring my sister back," Felicia Johnson said.

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