Attorneys for the prime suspect in the murder of Memphis basketball star Lorenzen Wright requested an outside jury for her trial. Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra Wright, and Billy Turner are being tried together in the 2010 death of the former Memphis Tiger and Grizzlies basketball player.
The judge is expected to rule this spring on a host of pretrial motions from Sherra Wright’s and Billy Turner’s legal teams. The requests include a jury pool from outside of Memphis, limiting wiretap evidence at trial, and drafting the questions to potential jurors.
“My concern at this point is Sherra will be unable to get a fair trial,” Attorney Juni Ganguli said.
Sherra Wright’s defense team played heavy defense this week, filing several pretrial motions. It included a request for an out-of-county jury.
“People just have a preconceived notion against her,” Ganguli said.
Wright’s attorneys, Ganguli and Laurie Hall, want a Davidson County jury pool. They believe Shelby County jurors would be biased in the planned September murder trial of Wright’s ex-husband, Bluff City basketball star Lorenzen Wright.
“Lorenzen Wright is dearly loved by people here in Memphis, and so it’s not only that our client is perceived to be hated here, it’s also the fact that the victim is so loved by so many people here,” Hall said.
Another motion asked for a suggested 98-part questionnaire be used for prospective jurors. It would ask detailed questions, including what people have read, seen, or heard about Sherra and Lorenzen Wright.
“You check social media, the comments are overwhelmingly negative,” Ganguli said.
The attorney for Billy Turner, Wright’s co-defendant, didn’t request an out-of-town jury pool, but said he wouldn’t be against it either.
“I don’t necessarily see, as it relates to Billy Turner, that there should necessarily be a change of venue, but if there is, that’s fine, we’ll try the case anywhere,” John Keith Perry said.
In Perry’s other motions, he requests the judge limit cell phone evidence and provide the arrest histories of witnesses.
“The objective is to give us the fairest opportunity to present our defense in the case,” Perry said.
Sherra Wright and Billy Turner are due back in court February 8th. Turner is also expected to stand trial sometime this year on an unrelated charge of a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.