Detroit Teen Charged with Armed Robbery of Nun

The Grosse Pointe Park judge set a $50,000 bond in the attempted robbery of a nun at St. Clare of Montefalco church.

Detroit teenager Raylon Vandie Wright was charged Friday with armed robbery in the attempted robbery of a nun from . 

The 18-year-old man made his first appearance before a judge in court Friday.

Wright approached the following a service, brandished a gun and demanded money, according to police. The nun didn't have any money, and police said Wright patted down the exterior pockets of her clothing, forced her into a bathroom and then eventually left the church. The nun was not physically injured during the crime. 

Officers arrested Wright on Thursday afternoon at Three Mile and East Warren roads after receiving a call-in tip. The caller was prompted by Crime Stoppers signs tacked on telephone poles on Warren and Alter roads, Lt. James Smith said. 

During the investigation, the weapon used during the crime was recovered. Smith said the search of a Grosse Pointe Shores home earlier this week for a weapon used during a robbery was not related to this robbery. 

Smith declined to say what the motive was, but he said it wasn't drugs. 

Wright's mother, Dinah Wright, attended his arraignment Friday. She said her son is a good kid who made a bad decision. She said he committed the crime because he was hungry. There was no food at their home, Dinah Wright said, and he had stopped attending high school because she couldn't afford to buy him clothes to wear to school. "He feels remorseful," she said afterward, noting the weapon was a toy gun. 

During the brief hearing, Wright was quiet and nearly whispered any answers to the judge. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison. 

Wright does not have any criminal history, and Judge Carl F. Jarboe set a bond of $50,000. He will make his next appearance in court March 23 for a pre-trial conference, at which time a court-appointed attorney will represent him.

After the hearing Smith said police are pleased they were able to solve this crime so quickly. This is the only robbery in the Park this year. Last year, the Park had two robberies, both of which were solved.

jorg erichsen March 16, 2011 at 12:08 AM
That is correct Sara. The law is set up that way because of the level of fear generated upon the victim. While it is good that some folks do not use a real gun, the psychological effect on the victim is the same.
Chris March 16, 2011 at 12:52 AM
If the young man were hungry, I'm certain he could have asked the nun for food. I can't imagine any member of the Catholic church turning away someone in need. Why wouldn't that be an option he might consider? I find it hard to believe that this young man is such an innocent.
Alan Domzalski March 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Christine, great point!
MJ March 25, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Christine, What knowledge do you have to support your comment stating you "find it hard to believe that this young man is such an innocent"? Do you know him personally? What did you read from the article to cause you to make such a statement? The article reported he did not have a prior criminal history (& yes I know there may be MANY who may have committed crimes but just never caught). However, my point is you are making a judgment about someone you do not know. I guess, then, it would be fair to make the same statement about you (if you were the perpetrator in this article), right? Octavio, Who are you to decide Mr. Wright had "no contrition". Are you God and are you able to see inside this man's heart. Also, the article reported Mr. Wright's mother stated he was remorseful (the same thing as being contrite). So, is his mother a liar? News article comments amaze me. We all appear so self-righteous, perfect and judgmental. Yes, there are no excuses for doing wrong for any reason; however, people are so quick to judge something or someone especially when we have not walked close to a mile in their shoes (better yet their skin)! As a lay counselor, I am familiar with several people who never believed they would "cross a certain line" but in what appeared to be a "final straw" life circumstance they did exactly what they never thought they were capable of doing. And yes, they were "innocent" and upstanding citizens before the 1 unimaginable act.
jorg erichsen March 25, 2011 at 11:26 PM
Excuses excuses, all of them! There are places to get free food and clothing! DO NOT go into a place of worship to rob for "FOOD" ask for some food instead. Others donate groceries to local churches for just such emergencies.


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