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Lorenzen Wright Murder Case: Bond Set At $15 Million For Billy Ray Turner

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Stunning new details came out in a Shelby County courtroom about the murder of Memphis basketball star Lorenzen Wright, during a bond hearing for one of the two people accused in his murder.

A Shelby County judge set bond at $15 million for Billy Ray Turner. The judge rescheduled Friday’s planned bond hearing for Sherra Wright until May 30th because her defense attorneys said there were conflicts with potential witnesses.

According to the murder affidavit, Turner and co-defendant Wright had a sexual relationship at the time of the 2010 murder, and Wright met with Turner after investigators found the murder weapon in Mississippi late last year.

Lorenzen Wright’s grandmother wept openly during the bond hearing, and his mother had to leave the courtroom as Shelby County Prosecutor Paul Hagerman gave new details in the case.

According to the affidavit, multiple people heard Turner and Wright discussing plans to kill Lorenzen Wright, including a foiled attempt in Atlanta in June 2010.

The affidavit claims Sherra Wright lured Lorenzen to Memphis with sexually explicit messages before he was shot and killed in southeast Memphis in July 2010.

The affidavit also said a man named Jimmy Martin, Sherra Wright’s cousin, led investigators to the murder weapon in Walnut, Mississippi, late last year. 

According to the affidavit read in court, authorities monitored phone calls between Wright and Turner after that weapon was found, and that the motive for murder was Lorenzen Wright’s insurance money.

Three people testified on Turner’s behalf, including two family members, who said he was reliable and active in church; a changed man after seven felony convictions in the 1990’s.

Turner’s attorney asked for a $150,000 bond, but prosecutors requested at least $10 million. In the end, Judge Lee Coffee decided on a larger number than that; $15 million.

The trial for Sherra Wright and Billy Turner is not expected to begin for at least another year.


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