100 lb Pot Deal Goes Bad & Leads To Death Of Amador Man During Tahoe Ambush

by Placerville Newswire / Feb 01, 2016 / comments

South Lake Tahoe, CA...At about 7:42 p.m Saturday, January 30th, 2016, police responded to investigate a homicide which occurred on the property of the Beverly Lodge in South Lake Tahoe (3480 South Lake Tahoe Boulevard). Upon arriving at the scene, responding Officers found a man who was shot on the ground outside of the rooms at the hotel. This victim has been identified as 40 year old Dennis Michael Wright Jr., a resident of Amador County California. Dennis Wright Jr. was shot at least once in the chest, and died of his sustained injuries at Barton Memorial Hospital. 

The investigation is still in progress. The crime appears to have stemmed from an illicit drug deal. Dennis Wright Jr. and his female companion, 45 year old Kendra Ghiorso, also of Amador County California, drove to the Beverly Lodge in South Lake Tahoe to deliver a hundred pounds of marijuana. Wright and Ghiorso were met at the Beverly Lodge by several individuals who came and went during their interaction; some were White and others Black male adults. The details of their mutual interaction are still being investigated, but culminated with at least one of the suspects discharging a handgun several times while outside the rooms and in the area of the motel parking lot. In addition to Wright being fatally shot, Ghiorso was struck violently in the head with an unidentified solid object, and believes she was possibly pistol-whipped. She sustained a significant, though non-life threatening, head injury.

Ghiorso witnessed the entire encounter, and Detectives are working closely with her currently while gathering more information. There is no suspect vehicle description at this point. SLTPD Detectives have conducted searches of the motel room and of two vehicles which were struck by bullets in the parking motel parking lot. Police are currently attempting to identify and locate other individuals who are considered investigative leads in this case. There also remain a number of unidentified suspects yet to be identified and located, both White Black male adults in their 20’s. We have no further descriptions at this time.

Inside the vehicle driven by Wright and Ghiorso, Detectives have located at least two handguns and ammunition for these firearms. Detectives are continuing to interview witnesses and to develop investigative leads. Additionally, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office is assisting SLTPD Detectives with this investigation. 

Anyone who may have information about this case is encouraged to call the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at 530-542-6100, or to remain anonymous, Lake Tahoe Secret Witness at 530-541-6800.