Court docs: Criminal, prosecutor exchanged text messages, bikini photo

SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents unsealed last week reveal new details about an alleged relationship between a Spokane County deputy prosecutor and an inmate in the Spokane County Jail.

The documents include thousands of text messages between the two and reveal the inmate had a picture in his cell of the prosecutor wearing a bikini.

The investigation involves Marriya Wright and inmate Matthew Baumrucker. Baumrucker has multiple felony convictions and even has the word "criminal" tattooed on his forehead. At the time police began their investigation, he was facing drug and assault charges. Police are investigating Wright's relationship with Baumrucker and the possibility of charging her with rendering criminal assistance.

According to the search warrant, Baumrucker and Wright corresponded via text or phone calls 1,280 times between February 6 and March 5.

Police found out about the possible relationship while investigating Baumrucker in an assault. On March 3, police were trying to find Baumrucker in connection with those charges. Police say he was at an apartment with a woman who later told police Baumrucker called a woman and said, "Marriya, the police are chasing me, I am in an apartment."

The warrant says Baumrucker told the woman at the apartment that "Marriya told him she didn't have to let the police in to search if they did not have a search warrant."

When police knocked on the door, no one answered. Another witness told police Baumrucker met Wright in a car at a nearby gas station. According to the witness, "she overheard Marriya telling Baumrucker he needed to get his warrants taken care of." That witness says Wright made no attempt to tell Baumrucker to turn himself in to police. Surveillance video obtained by police confirms Baumrucker got into Wright's vehicle at that gas station.

A Spokane County corrections officer was questioned in the investigation and told police Wright visited Baumrucker in the jail several times. Their visits occurred in the attorney-client booth, though Wright was not assigned to any of Baumrucker's cases.

According to the corrections officer, "Baumrucker does not appear to be posturing himself as he would when discussing legal issues." The booth is set up so that paperwork and other items can be passed between attorney and inmate. The same corrections officer says Baumrucker had a picture of Wright in his cell and in the picture she's wearing a bikini.

According to the warrant, "[The] corrections officer has never seen an inmate in possession of a prosecuting attorneys photograph in a bikini."

Court records show state charges against Baumrucker were dropped on August 15, but that doesn't mean he'll escape justice.

Federal prosecutors filed charges against him one day before for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges Baumrucker had a Hi-Point C9 semi-automatic pistol.

Court documents describe Baumrucker's criminal history as "significant, including prison sentences for robbery, assault and domestic violence." A judge ordered that he remain in jail until the disposition of his trial in October.

Wright, meanwhile, is on leave from the prosecutor's office pending the outcome of the investigation.