Sherra Wright transferred to Tennessee Department of Correction after plea deal in Lorenzen Wright’s murder

Deborah Marion, the mother of Lorenzen Wright, sits behind Sherra Wright in court July 25, 2019...
Deborah Marion, the mother of Lorenzen Wright, sits behind Sherra Wright in court July 25, 2019 as Sherra pleads guilty to facilitation of Lorenzen's murder. (Source: WMC)
Updated: Jul. 26, 2019 at 2:38 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Sherra Wright is now in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction.

Wright is the former wife of NBA star Lorenzen Wright. She pleaded guilty Thursday to her role in his murder.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said Friday afternoon that Wright was transferred from the Shelby County Jail East to the custody of the DOC.

Wright made a plea deal, agreeing to plead guilty to facilitation of Lorenzen Wright’s murder. She was originally charged with first-degree murder.

An alleged co-conspirator, Billy Ray Turner, is still awaiting trial.

Lorenzen Wright was a former player for the Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis. He disappeared after a cryptic 911 call July 19, 2010. His body was found 10 days later in the woods in the outskirts of Memphis. The autopsy showed he was shot five times, execution-style.

Upon Sherra Wright’s guilty plea, the judge sentenced her to 30 years in prison, but she’ll be eligible for parole in about nine years. She will also get credit for time already served, which is just less than two years.

SCSO says they took Wright Friday to a state prison in Nashville.

With Sherra Wright headed to prison for her role in NBA Star Lorenzen Wright’s murder, all eyes are now on her co-defendant Billy Ray Turner.

Police believe that Turner and Sherra Wright knew each other at the time of the murder and worked with a third person to help them kill Lorenzen.

Both Wright and Turner were charged with first degree murder in Lorenzen Wright's death and were headed to trial in September. But with Sherra's guilty plea, experts say this could change the direction of the trial in a major way for Billy Ray Turner.

"What that means for Mr. Turner, the co-defendant is it puts some fear into whatever his strategy was going to be,” said Murray Wells, attorney.

Murray Wells, an attorney with Wells and Associates has tried many high-profile murder cases. He says he wouldn't be surprised if Sherra testified against Turner.

"If his strategy was he thought he could beat it at trial, that may have changed because now there's someone who's willing to testify under oath and may even get a time cut against him and his part in the death of Mr. Wright,” said Wells.

We reached out to Sherra Wright's attorney Juni Ganguli who said:

"The possibility of Sherra testifying against Billy is remote. It's possible but highly unlikely."

Thursday, Ganguli said his defense, had his client gone to trial, was that Lorenzen Wright allegedly beat Sherra Wright and she then hired Billy Ray Turner to kill Lorenzen as a way out.

"It was interesting defense that she sort of argued I'm kind of a victim because I wasn't going to be able to get away from Mr. Wright, and the judges don't like that at sentencing when you admit you did something because if you had a real defense you should have taken it to trial,” said Wells.

John Keith Perry, Turner’s attorney, maintains his client’s innocence and says he’s never seen proof or evidence about Turner receiving instruction for solicitation of murder.

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