Dale Mardis


February 10, 2012

It’s a high-profile case that left a public servant dead because of the color of his skin.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: It’s a high-profile case that left a public servant dead because of the color of his skin.  

I’m Mollie Halpern of the FBI, and this is Gotcha.

Mickey Wright, a Memphis code enforcement officer, went missing in April 2001. His body was never found. The civil rights team in the FBI’s Memphis Field Office partnered on the case with the local U.S. Attorney’s office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Skrmetti…

Jonathan Skrmetti: There was no forensic evidence, so it was a really difficult case to make.

Halpern: The investigation showed Officer Wright was shot to death after issuing a warning citation at property belonging to Dale Mardis. Mardis pled guilty in federal court last year to the racially motivated killing of Wright. Case Agent Tracey Harris says Mardis admitted to burning Wright’s body. Harris specializes in civil rights cases and is a voice for victims who can’t speak for themselves.

Tracey Harris: As an investigator, you become that voice for them. You become their advocates; you have to champion their cause.

Halpern: Mardis was sentenced to life in prison with no parole.

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