Man gets life in prison for murder of NBA’s Lorenzen Wright

MEMPHIS, Tenn. –

A jury on Monday convicted a Tennessee man within the slaying of former NBA participant Lorenzen Wright, whose bullet-riddled physique was present in a discipline practically 12 years in the past in his hometown of Memphis.

The 12-person jury deliberated for about two hours earlier than it discovered Billy Ray Turner responsible of first-degree homicide, tried homicide and conspiracy within the dying of Wright, a 6-foot, 11-inch heart who performed 13 seasons within the NBA earlier than he retired after the 2008-2009 season. Decide Lee Espresso sentenced Turner, 51, to life in jail for the homicide conviction. He can be sentenced for the opposite costs at a later date.

Espresso referred to as Wright “a sacred son” of Memphis and informed his mom, Deborah Marion, that the trial won’t convey her closure however to “rejoice the nice” about her son.

Exterior the courtroom, Marion informed reporters she was elated with the decision. She mentioned she would go to her son’s grave Monday evening.

“It’s going to by no means be closure, as a result of I will by no means see my son once more,” Marion mentioned. “That is just a few satisfaction for me and my household.”

The slaying is without doubt one of the most extremely publicized homicide circumstances in Memphis historical past. Wright’s decomposing physique was discovered riddled with bullet wounds in a swampy discipline in east Memphis on July 28, 2010. The 34-year-old father of six had been lacking for days earlier than his physique was found.

Turner had already pleaded responsible to possessing a weapon as a convicted felon after he was discovered with two weapons when he was arrested in Wright’s killing in 2017. Turner is serving a 16-year jail sentence on the separate gun cost.

Prosecutors allege Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra Wright, masterminded a plan to kill her ex-husband and recruited Turner and her cousin, Jimmie Martin, to assist her.

Turner and Sherra Wright had been indicted in December 2017, greater than seven years after the killing. Sherra Wright entered a shock responsible plea to facilitation of homicide in July 2019 and was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Turner is a landscaper who knew Sherra Wright from church and, based on prosecutors, had a secret romantic relationship along with her.

On the time of Wright’s slaying, Martin was going through costs of killing his girlfriend, and he mentioned his cousin helped pay a part of his authorized charges. Martin was convicted and is presently serving jail time, in that case. He has acquired immunity from prosecution within the Wright case.

Martin testified that Sherra Wright recruited him and Turner to kill Lorenzen Wright. Components of his testimony had been challenged by protection lawyer John Keith Perry, who mentioned the knowledge Martin gave to investigators was a farce and filled with lies.

Martin testified that he and Turner met with Sherra Wright to plan the killing and went to Lorenzen Wright’s condominium in Atlanta to shoot him, with an understanding that he would receives a commission.

Armed with handguns, Turner and Martin went to Wright’s apartment in Atlanta, entered by a window and located somebody sleeping on the sofa in the lounge — however it was not Lorenzen Wright, Martin testified. Turner and Martin returned dwelling with out killing anybody.

Martin informed prosecutor Paul Hagerman that he was in Batesville, Mississippi, on the time of the capturing simply after midnight on July 19, 2010. Martin mentioned he went to the Memphis discipline with Sherra Wright some days after the capturing and she or he basically confessed.

Lorenzen Wright was visiting Memphis from Atlanta. Sherra Wright mentioned she lured her ex-husband to the sphere by telling him that she was going to fulfill somebody there to get some cash, Martin testified. In keeping with Martin, she mentioned that she and Turner ambushed and chased Lorenzen Wright, who jumped a fence and tried to run away earlier than they shot him within the discipline.

The jury heard a chilling 911 name made by Lorenzen Wright that captured the pop-pop-pop sound of mutiple gunshots.

Martin additionally mentioned Turner and Wright removed proof from the capturing scene and he went with Turner to eliminate the weapon by dumping it in a north Mississippi lake. Martin mentioned he informed detectives in 2012 the place the gun was situated. It was later discovered by FBI divers.

In closing arguments, protection lawyer John Keith Perry mentioned Martin’s “loopy, contrived” story was not plausible. Perry mentioned Martin — not Turner — was in Memphis the evening Lorenzen Wright was shot.

Prosecutor Paul Hagerman defended Martin’s testimony, saying Martin’s immunity settlement required him to inform the reality and statements given to investigators and prosecutors have been constant.

Prosecutor Austin Scofield mentioned Sherra Wright informed Turner throughout a gathering at her home that Lorenzen Wright had successful out on her.

Citing witness testimony, Scofield mentioned Turner responded: “What would you like me to do, Sherra?”

Neither Turner nor Sherra Wright testified throughout the trial.

A motive for the slaying was not clear, although Hagerman mentioned the killers had been pushed by jealousy and greed.

Sherra Wright acquired $1 million from her ex-husband’s life insurance coverage coverage and settled a courtroom dispute in 2014 over how she spent the insurance coverage cash meant to learn their six kids.

Marion, the slain participant’s mom, mentioned she’s satisfied the insurance coverage coverage was Sherra Wright’s motivation.

“That is what it was about. Cash,” Marion mentioned.

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