The 18-year-old Detroit man accused of attempting to rob a 74-year-old nun in February pleaded guilty in Wayne Circuit Court Thursday to assault with intent to rob while armed.
Raylon Vandie Wright will be sentenced before Judge Bruce Morrow on June 16, said Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. Wright's plea comes just days before he was scheduled to stand trial before a jury.
He faces up to life in prison or any term the judge sees fit.
Wright approached Sister Jacquline A. Wetherholt outside St. Clare of Montefalco Church in late February brandishing a gun–later discovered to be a toy gun–and demanded cash. She did not have any money on her, which she told Wright and he patted down the pockets on her clothing, according to her testimony during a preliminary exam.
He also led her to two different church bathrooms, which she had been trying to lock up, before he fled, according to testimony.
His attorney, Stephen Remski, originally tried to have the charge reduced because nothing was taken from the nun and because a toy gun was used but a judge denied the request. It was ruled that the nun did not know it was a toy gun during the crime and therefore its presence caused the same level of fear as if it were real.
His mother, Dinah Wright, previously told Patch her son committed the crime because he was hungry and she did not have any food in the house. She said she had been having a hard time financially and felt he'd been badly influenced by peers.
Wright has been in custody since his arrest in early March, which came after police received a tip about his location near the intersection of Three Mile and Warren. He has no criminal history.
Attempts to reach Wetherholt were not successful.