Despite a valiant effort, a fairy-tale ending might not be in the cards for Matthew Baumrucker and Marriya Wright.
You see, their love story is kind of complicated: He is a convicted felon behind bars in Spokane County, Washington; she is a deputy prosecutor under investigation by the FBI. He bears a striking resemblance to Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and sports multiple face tattoos, including the word “criminal” seared in cursive across the crown of his skull. She’s a dead ringer for an American Gladiators cast member and competes in amateur bodybuilding contests, including the National Physique Committee’s Emerald Cup last April.
And while it’s not entirely clear how the odd couple first met, there now remains little doubt of their commitment to each other. According to recently unsealed court documents, Wright is accused of helping Baumrucker elude the cops for several weeks last spring, exchanging nearly 1,300 text messages with him during that time and driving the wanted felon around town in her SUV (like a soccer mom). Additionally, the chiseled attorney allegedly visited Baumrucker in jail—every three days for a month—after his capture. He even has a sexy bikini photo in his cell to prove it.
For the six-time convicted felon, he says the liaison with Wright has given him strength and hope. In a letter he penned to a local television station last week, Baumrucker calls his relationship with the prosecutor a “Cinderella story,” adding that he plans to one day write a book about the whole experience. “I am being punished and violated by the system all for a relationship I have had with a deputy prosecutor,” the letter says, leaving out the fact that he’s accused of a few other crimes.
However, the union feels fated to play out more like Romeo and Juliet, rather than Baumrucker’s vision of a happily ever after.
According to court records, Baumrucker went on the lam back in February when authorities tried to bust him on a warrant for drug charges. (Luckily, the 31-year-old had the number for a decent lawyer.) Between Feb. 6 and March 5, Baumrucker exchanged 1,280 text messages with a cellphone traced back to Wright, and at one point, according to a witness who was at the home with Baumrucker, Wright advised him to prohibit the police from entering an apartment where he was staying unless they came knocking with a search warrant.
When Wright wasn’t dishing legal advice, she was allegedly giving Baumrucker and his buddies rides in her red SUV. A different witness told investigators that she picked them up from a gas station and drove them to a trailer park in Spokane Valley. About a week later, cops finally busted Baumrucker at a motel where he was staying with another woman. They allegedly found a pistol inside an air conditioner outside his room.
After Baumrucker was booked in jail, Wright visited him 10 times between March 13 and April 16. Though she was not assigned to Baumrucker’s case, Wright marked the purpose of each visit as “professional,” according to jail records. A corrections officer grew suspicious when he noticed that the attorney took no notes during her frequent visits. The same officer later found the racy photograph of Wright in Baumrucker’s cell.
“[The] corrections officer had never seen an inmate in possession of a prosecuting attorney’s photograph in a bikini,” says a search warrant affidavit.
No criminal charges have been filed against Wright, 34, though she potentially faces a first-degree rendering criminal assistance charge, according to a search warrant affidavit. She’s been on paid administrative leave since April 21, and she continues to pull in a $7,000-per-month paycheck.
While federal prosecutors have filed charges against Baumrucker for being a felon in possession of a weapon, he insists his relationship with Wright will withstand scrutiny. “What’s the crime in that?” he says in his letter to KREM. “Just two people who happened to live on different sides of the fence? On the wrong sides of the law? We never broke one law. Her and I never did any wrong.”