Man accused of killing girlfriend pleads "not guilty" in arraignment

EUGENE, Ore. -- The man authorities say killed his girlfriend and then confessed to hospital staff plead not guilty during his arraignment Friday, the Lane County District Attorney said.

Officers were called to McKenzie Willamette hospital on Saturday, after Robert Cromwell, 32, of Springfield, reportedly told ER staff that he had killed his girlfriend, Springfield Police said.

Police said they found the body of Casey Lynn Wright, 26, of Eugene, while doing a welfare check at Cromwell's home near 18th and G Streets. Springfield Police arrested Cromwell for murder.

"It's a domestic violence case that's gone horribly wrong obviously," said Springfield Police Sgt. David Lewis.

An autopsy found she died from blunt force trauma to the head, Springfield Police said.

While our news team wasn't allowed inside the courtroom for the arraignment, reporters did get a copy of the indictment from the Lane County Grand Jury. It read that Cromwell is accused of unlawfully and intentionally causing Wright's death using an aluminum baseball bat.

Cromwell reportedly came to court with his both wrists in bandages.

"He had some self inflicted superficial; injuries consistent with someone making a feeble attempt at suicide," said Sgt. Lewis

Cromwell's future court dates and a possible trial should be scheduled next week. Assistant District Attorney Erik Hasselman says if convicted, Cromwell faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, with parole after 25 years.

Family and friends of Casey Lynn Wright will gather to celebrate her life at the Jazz Station Sunday. In Wright's obituary, loved ones remarked, "Casey pursued her dream of becoming an accomplished equestrian. She had a passion and success that were a joy to witness."

Wright's death has left her friends looking for answers and ways to help.

Wright was an accomplished equestrian, and her horse Duncan recently underwent surgery. Her friends launched a campaign to raise money to pay for the horse's surgery and care.

The fundraising campaign also aims to raise money for Womenspace, a local organization that helps the victims of domestic violence.