A Florida man who has been convicted of drunken driving multiple times and has had his license suspended six times has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of MMA fighter Jordan Parsons.
Dennis Wright, 28, of Boca Raton, was arrested Saturday, the Delray Beach Police Department said in a press release. He is facing multiple charges, including leaving the scene of a crash causing death, police said. He was also charged with driving while his license was suspended as a habitual offender and tampering with evidence.
Parsons, 25, who was a fighter in the Bellator MMA organization, was struck by a Range Rover while crossing the street at about 12:30 a.m. on May 1. He died of his injuries on May 4.
Wright appeared in court Sunday and had his bond set at $450,000, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wright Was Driving Between 100 to 120 MPH When He Struck Parsons, Police Say
Witnesses told police Dennis Wright was driving between 100 to 120 mph when he struck Parsons, who was in the crosswalk, according to the Delray Beach Police Department statement.
Parsons was wearing headphones and may not have heard the SUV was coming, police said.
“Wright never stopped. Neither did his friends driving behind him in their Mercedes, which followed the Range Rover as it continued southbound,” police said.
Police said they received a tip from an anonymous person giving investigators Wright’s name.
“They quickly discovered that Wright’s mother owns a grey 2013 Range Rover Sport and were able to determine that Wright was driving the vehicle the night of the crash,” police said. “Wright made an effort to have the damaged Range Rover repaired at a local body shop, but the owner refused to do the work, so Wright rented a bay at a storage facility and hid the SUV.”
Police recovered the Range Rover and found it was missing the driver’s side mirror, which officers found at the scene. According to police, Wright is believed to have been at Buddha Sky Bar on East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach earlier Saturday night.
2. Parsons Suffered a Catastrophic Injury to His Leg, Which Was Amputated in an Effort to Save His Life
Delray Beach Police OFficer Derek Chahine came to Parsons’ aid at the scene and used a medical blanket from the trunk of his patrol car to apply pressure to the “catastrophic leg injury” Parsons suffered, according to police.
Parsons was then taken to Delray Medical Center. Doctors amputated his leg in an attempt to save his life, but on May 4 he died from his injuries.
3. Wright’s Criminal Record Includes Arrests for DUI, Disorderly Intoxication & Assault on a Police Officer
Wright has a criminal record that includes multiple arrests for drunken driving and six driver’s license suspensions, police say. His license was suspended at the time of the crash, according to police.
Along with arrests for DUI, Wright has been arrested for disorderly intoxication, marijuana possession and assault on a police officer or firefighter, the Delray police said.
He was arrested in 2010 for failure to appear in court and for violating his probation, in 2011 for driving with a suspended license, in 2012 for a second DUI offense and in 2013 for failure to appear in court.
Wright’s attorney noted the social media attention on the case during his client’s first court appearance on Sunday.
“There are a lot of facts that have not been established in this case,” attorney Robert Resnick said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “I just hope the community waits for all the facts.”
4. He Is a ‘Consultant’ in the Call Center Industry
Wright works as a “consultant in the call center industry, focused toward management, leadership, and strong sales training,” he says on Linkedin. He graduated from Florida State University in 2009 with a business management degree.
According to his Linkedin profile, Wright is a partner in South Beach Media, which he says is in the “health, wellness and fitness industry.” He also is a managing partner at Information Technologies of America Inc. He has previously worked as the chief operating officer of Proactive Options Inc., director of business development for Better Off Health and vice president of mcDowell Medical, according to his Linkedin profile.
During his first court appearance Sunday, Wright’s attorney, Robert Resnick, argued for $50,000 bail, telling the judge, “this is a hard-working, regular guy, not a rich Boca Raton kid,” according to the Palm Beach Post.
5. Parsons Had an 11-2 Career Record & Was Scheduled to Fight on May 14
Jordan “Pretty Boy” Parsons, a featherweight fighter, had an 11-2 career record and was scheduled for his next Bellator fight on May 14. He trained at the Blackzillians camp in Boca Raton, Florida.
His funeral will be held May 21.