MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Doctors will weigh in whether Sherra Wright is competent to stand trial in the murder case of her ex-husband, Memphis basketball star Lorenzen Wright.
Sherra Wright's mental health evaluation is the latest major development in the Lorenzen Wright murder case, which is slowly but surely moving along ahead of a targeted trial date sometime next year.
Wright's court appearance Wednesday also included a notable first-time guest in the courtroom. On the defense side of the courtroom, Sherra Wright smiled at her oldest son in the front row, Lorenzen Wright Junior. The 23-year-old declined comment leaving the courtroom, minutes after Judge Lee Coffee approved a mental health evaluation for his mother.
Deborah Marion reacted to Sherra Wright smiling at Marion's 23-year-old grandson in court Wednesday.
"So, imagine what is going through his head, he gonna wanna believe her, but some stuff you just have to follow the evidence on,” said Marion. "All I want all my grandchildren to do, just follow the evidence. I don't want nobody sidebar telling them nothing."
"I don't try to pressure him into anything, whatever he wants to tell I'll let him tell, whatever he don't want to tell me, I'll let him too,” Marion continued. "It's going to be a rocky road, but I'm ready."
Doctors at West Tennessee Forensic will interview Wright to determine if she is fit to stand trial.
"She's articulate, it's just that we want to explore every avenue that's available to us,” said Sherra Wright’s attorney Juni Ganguli.
"We have to wait and see and let the doctors do their work,” said Paul Hagerman with the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.
Earlier this summer, Sherra Wright appeared in a red jumpsuit for loss of privileges because Jail East staff said she flooded toilets and caused commotions. Wednesday, she wore the traditional orange jumpsuit and her attorney reported no recent problems.
"If there's a mental health defense that's available, we'll certainly explore it,” said Ganguli. "She's depressed, she's sad about this entire proceeding."
Sherra Wright is charged with trying to kill Lorenzen Wright with Billy Turner in the spring of 2010, before committing the act in southeast Memphis in July 2010.
Their attorneys are reviewing nearly 12,000 pages of evidence.
"The discovery in the case is voluminous, it's long and it's complicated,” said Hagerman.
Attorneys on both sides are hopeful Sherra Wright's mental health evaluation will be completed in time for her next scheduled court appearance October 5th. Co-defendant Billy Turner is also scheduled to appear that day.