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Defense blames new evidence from discovery for delay in trial for Billy Turner, charged with Lorenzen Wright’s murder

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The September trial for Billy Ray Turner for the murder of former Memphis basketball player Lorenzen Wright is delayed...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The September trial for Billy Ray Turner for the murder of former Memphisbasketball player Lorenzen Wright is delayed for now. It was postponed sothe defense can review new evidence it just received from prosecutors. 

The trial was supposed to start September 16, now it will likelyhappen next year.

Defense attorneys say the delay is the result of a mistake by theprosecutor’s office when it comes to turning over evidence to the defense.

“I can’t comment on what it is or anything like that. When weget stuff or new stuff, we turn it over to defense counsel,” said prosecutor PaulHagerman.

The defense said the new evidence is a banker box and severalfolders full of materials. It never got turned over during what’s called thediscovery process.

“The materials are different records from other people thatwere named in the case that we had asked for. Things along those lines sothere’s not a lot as it relates to something he might have said or havedone,” said Turner’s lawyer John Keith Perry.

Turner’s lawyer doesn’t know if any of the material will changehow he will defend the case.

Turner is a co-defendant for the 2010 murder of NBA playerLorenzen Wright. Wright’s ex-wife Sherra Wright pleaded guilty to her role inthe crime last month.

As for the missing evidence, Turner’s lawyer says better that itwas discovered before the trial than after.

“At this point, I take Paul at his word it was anoversight that it wasn’t turned over,” said Perry.

Wright’s mother was in the courtroom Thursday for Turnersappearance.

“I don’t care if he walk in the courtroom and sneeze, I wantto be there to watch him sneeze,” said Deborah Marion.

Marion said she isn’t bothered by the delay, saying it’s only amatter of time before Turner goes on trial.

“I am excited. My face may not say it, but my heart isjumping. I’m glad,” she said.

The prosecution didn’t explain why this evidence wasn’t turnedover initially. But Hagerman said, “This is the system working. I knowit’s frustrating for everybody to come to court time after time and have itreset, but everybody’s just trying to get it right and that’s what’s happening.”

Turner will be back in court September 16th. His lawyerexpects that’s when the new trial date will be sent.

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