Billy Ray Turner Set for October Trial in Killing of Lorenzen Wright

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2008, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Lorenzen Wright poses at the team's NBA basketball media day in Independence, Ohio. Sherra Wright is fighting an attempt by authorities to extradite her from California to Memphis, Tenn., to face conspiracy and first-degree murder charges in the 2010 death of her ex-husband, former NBA player Lorenzen Wright. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, file)
Mark Duncan/Associated Press

The murder trial of Billy Ray Turner, who is accused of killing former NBA center Lorenzen Wright, will begin in October.

Shelby County Judge Lee Coffee informed Turner that his trial has been set for Oct. 26 during a hearing Tuesday, per the Associated Press. Turner is accused of killing Wright after conspiring with Wright's ex-wife, Sherra, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of facilitation of murder last July.

Wright's body was found with multiple gunshot wounds in a field near Memphis on July 28, 2010. He had been missing for 10 days before his body was found. He was 34. 

Prosecutors say Turner and Sherra Wright met at church and conspired to kill Lorenzen after her first attempt at a murder-for-hire failed. She collected a $1 million insurance payout following her ex-husband's death.

Police arrested Turner and Sherra Wright in December 2017 after discovering a gun they say was used in Lorenzen's murder in a lake in Mississippi. 

Turner has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy charges. According to the AP, it's possible Sherra Wright will be used as a witness to testify against Turner. Another accomplice, Jimmie Martin, who said he helped clean the crime scene and was involved in the first alleged murder-for-hire plot, could also testify. 

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The No. 7 overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, Wright played 13 seasons for five teams.