A Shelby County judge all but ensured Wednesday the accused killer of Memphis basketball star Lorenzen Wright won’t be walking free before trial. The judge set a bond of $20 million for Wright’s ex-wife Sherra Wright.
Authorities said Sherra Wright and co-defendant Billy Turner plotted to kill Lorenzen Wright in the spring of 2010, and then committed the crime in southeast Memphis in July 2010.
With that bond, Sherra Wright is expected to remain in Jail East until her trial next year. Previous violations in recent weeks while at Jail East played a role in the judge setting that bond amount.
“Miss Wright does appear to be an ongoing danger to Shelby County, Tennessee,” said Judge Lee Coffee.
The $20 million bond amount is tied to both the murder allegations of Lorenzen Wright and her behavior Tuesday in jail. According to Jail East staff, Wright berated workers, stripped off her clothes, and flooded a toilet.
“Miss Wright’s behavior yesterday is absolutely shocking for the consciousness of the court,” said Coffee.
“It’s hard to trust someone out on the street on bond when you can’t trust them in the jail,” said prosecutor Paul Hagerman.
“That’s Sherra. She’s still doing Sherra. All eyes on her,” said Lorenzen Wright’s mother Deborah Marion.
Marion expressed relief Wednesday after the judge set the $20 million bond. Turner’s bond was set at $15 million back on May 4th.
“Yes! That was good. You know, he got 15, now she got 20, so, they need to be where they are, they’ve been free for too long living the good life,” said Marion.
Before the judge announced Wright’s bond amount, Hagerman read the criminal affidavit, which claimed Sherra Wright lured Lorenzen Wright to Memphis to kill him in July 2010.
The affidavit also claimed Wright’s cousin Jimmie Martin, a convicted murderer, led investigators to the murder weapon in a Mississippi lake last year, and told authorities he helped Wright and Turner clean up the crime scene.
“When you start to dive into the evidence, and look at Jimmie Martin’s history, look at the statements he gave, you realize that this case is not built on a steady foundation the state wants you to believe it’s built on,” said Sherra Wright’s attorney Blake Ballin.
Hagerman pushed back on that claim. “This is not a case built on one witness,” he said, “but a case built on three, or four of five even different kinds of proof.”
The affidavit claims Lorenzen Wright was killed for his insurance money and lays out incriminating wiretapped calls between Sherra Wright and Billy Turner after investigators found the murder weapon.
Wright’s attorneys questioned the testimony.
“They come up and tell a story but leave parts out, and this story the state is telling is built in large part on the testimony and statements of people who are known liars and criminals,” said Ballin.
Sherra Wright’s attorneys said it’s unlikely they will appeal that bond amount. Both Sherra Wright and her co-defendant Billy Turner scheduled back in Shelby County court July 11th.
Coffee also told the court that if this were a federal case, he would have the option to hold Sherra Wright without bond, but because this case is at the state level, he is required to set bond. He also told the court if he had the option, he would have held Sherra Wright without bond.