On July 28, 2010, the body of six-foot-eleven Lorenzen Wright was found in a swampy East Memphis, TN marsh. His family filed a missing person’s report six days earlier, but the 34-year-old retired NBA journeyman’s corpse was riddled with bullets and already decaying upon discovery.
Nearly twelve years later, 51-year-old Billy Ray Turner has been convicted of first-degree murder for Wright’s death, and Turner was sentenced to life in prison. “It’ll never be closure, because I’ll never see my son again,” said Deborah Marion, Wright’s mother. “This is just some satisfaction for me and my family.”
According to prosecutors, Turner was having a secret romance with Wright’s ex-wife Sherra. The two reportedly knew each other from church, and she engaged Turner and her cousin Jimmie Martin in a plot to kill her ex-husband.
Sherra and Lorenzen Wright had six children together, and their divorce was officially complete a few weeks before Lorenzen Wright’s disappearance. But soon after Lorenzen’s death, Sherra cashed in her ex-husband’s $1 million insurance policy and spent over $970,000 of it in the next ten months, according to the Daily Mail.
The case would go cold until November 2017, when the gun that was supposedly used to kill Lorenzen Wright was discovered in a Mississippi lake. Sherra Wright and Turner were apprehended the next month and charged with first degree murder.
Then in July 2019, just before Sherra Wright’s trial was set to start, she surprisingly fessed up to her role in the murder of her ex-husband. Her legal team ironed out a plea deal that would make her eligible for parole if she successfully completes 9 years of her 30-year sentence.
However, Turner’s life sentence means in a 60-year term in the state of Tennessee, and he would have to serve at least 85 percent of that (51 years) to even begin any talk of release. Turner would projectively be 101 years old that time, in 2073. He also was found guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy, but Judge Lee Coffee said the sentences for those convictions will be handed out within the next 45 days.