Man gets 15 years to life for 2016 murder at South Tahoe hotel

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Janice Wright stood in court with tears streaming down her face and anger in her voice.

Wright, the mom of Dennis “Spike” Wright who was murdered in 2016, on Friday gave an emotional victim impact statement in El Dorado County Superior Court. She was followed by six more family members who gave emotional statements, including his wife of 17 years, Kendra.

Andrew Adams after his arrest in 2016. (Provided)

It took more than five years for the case to work its way through countless continuations and the pandemic, but finally family members on the day before what would have been Spike’s 46th birthday, witnessed judgement and sentencing of the man who committed the crime.

Andrew Adams, of Suisun City, Calif., who was 25 years old at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to 15 years to life on Friday by Judge Suzanne Kingsbury. Adams accepted a plea deal for second degree murder.

“Your judgement day has come,” Wright said to Adams. “I miss Spike today, I missed him yesterday and I’ll miss him tomorrow,” and added that she plans to attend any prison hearings Adams has to keep him behind bars as long as possible.

Adams shot Wright in the parking lot of Beverly Lodge in South Lake Tahoe on Jan. 30, 2016 in a marijuana deal that turned into robbery and murder.

“You didn’t go there to buy pot because if you did, Spike would have sold it to you,” said one of the family members to Adams during a statement. “Spike was no angel, but he was a hard working man and had a job every day of his life. Can you say the same?”

It took several months of investigation by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s and District Attorney offices, along with the Fairfield Police Department, but Adams was arrested on Sept. 15, 2016, and booked into the Solano County Jail before being transferred to the El Dorado County Jail.

“Everybody is struggling to live without Spike,” said his wife Kendra. “Aug. 7 is Spike’s 46th birthday and I would like justice for his birthday gift.”

“I had no idea, but Spike was the glue holding this family together,” said Kendra’s sister Julie Ann Cockerton.

Judge Kingsbury has been hearing cases for 25 years and said that families are never the same after a crime that takes away a family member.

“Nobody ever really achieves closure,” Kingsbury said. “Particularly in our county we’ve had a large number of murders over marijuana. Making it legal hasn’t helped. To have such a senseless crime occur is heartbreaking. The amount of money from the court’s perspective is modest given the toll on everyone’s lives.”

Kingsbury told Adams that he has a chance to make something of his life if he gets on a better path.

Kingsbury gave Adams credit for the time he has already served and said he is eligible for parole after 15 years.

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