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Utah man walks into police station, confesses to murder in Washington nearly 22 years ago

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Brandon David Wright (Jail booking photo courtesy Salt Lake County, Utah, via KPTV/Portland)

KELSO, Wash. — A 44-year-old man walked into a police station in Salt Lake City last Sunday and confessed to killing a man in Kelso, Wash., in August 1994 — nearly 22 years ago. 

The cold case murder victim was Robert Bushey, 49, who was stabbed 53 times in a travel trailer outside his Kelso home.

KPTV in Portland, citing a probable cause affidavit, reported that Brandon David Wright told officers he wanted to confess to the murder that happened more than 20 years ago.

In a recorded interview, KPTV said, Wright said he was in Kelso in 1994 after fleeing Utah, where he was facing criminal charges.

Wright told investigators he got hungry and broke into a travel trailer that belonged to a man named “Bob,” according to court documents. Wright described the trailer parked in front of a house next to a large box truck with a shed nearby.

Court documents state the owner, Bushey, interrupted the burglary, so Wright said he hit the man in the head with a hammer and then stabbed him multiple times in the stomach.

Wright stated he covered the victim’s body with blankets and then stole his car and a welder, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit states Wright remembered falling asleep behind the wheel of the stolen car and hitting a guardrail, damaging the front tires, before parking the car outside a “sports arena” in Portland.

Wright said he traded the stolen welder for methamphetamine.

After Wright’s confession this week, Washington detectives reviewed the case file on the original homicide investigation and found Wright’s story to be consistent with evidence found at the time. His description of the scene also matched the crime scene.

Investigators said Bushey’s body was found under several blankets on the floor of his travel trailer on the 400 block of Douglas Street on Aug. 31, 1994.

An autopsy revealed Bushey had been stabbed 53 times. His estimated death was four days before his body was discovered.

Bushey’s 1984 Ford Thunderbird was missing from his property and later found at the Portland Meadows horseracing track. Detectives said the right front tire was flat and dried blood was found on the trunk’s release button.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Wright was arrested on a drug charge in Portland on Aug. 28, 1994, before Bushey’s body was discovered.

Kelso investigators traveled to Utah to interview Wright this week. He is expected to be extradited to Washington to face first-degree murder charges.